3 Underrated Games to Bet This Week
It’s a busy bowl week in college football as well as the penultimate week of the 2017 NFL regular season with games Saturday-Monday.
But we will have you covered with all of those previews here at Mybookie.ag. Here are three underrated games from other sports to bet this week. Check back for more Online Sports betting odds and lines at MyBookie!
Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
When: Friday, 8 PM ET (ESPN)
The Rockets should be going for a 16th straight victory here, but that’s not even the story line. It’s the first time that Chris Paul faces his former Clippers teammates since last season’s big trade. Paul said some negative things on the way out of town, including about Coach Doc Rivers. So this will be personal. Paul is having a fabulous season in Houston and James Harden is an MVP favorite. He has broken Moses Malone’s franchise record of scoring 20+ points in 29 consecutive games in a single season.
Houston has lost consecutive games once this season after doing so four times in 2016-17. The Rockets are 21-1 when leading after three quarters of play this season. They have led by double-digits in 23 of the 30 games and trailed by 10+ points eight times (5-3 mark). The Rockets have won by double-digits 18 times this season, including by 20+ nine times.
The Clippers have been gutted by injury. One key player they got back in the Paul trade from Houston, point guard Patrick Beverley, is out for the year. Superstar Blake Griffin is out a couple of months. Lou Williams (foot), Danilo Gallinari (glute) and Wes Johnson (foot) are also banged up and might not be ready by Friday.
Houston won three of four against Paul’s Clippers last year. It marked first time Houston won a season series since going 3-1 in 2010-11. The Rockets have scored 120 points in three of the past five games in the series, including 130+ twice.
No. 7 Kentucky vs. UCLA
When: Saturday, 4 PM ET (CBS)
Need an alternative to football on Saturday? How about the two most blue-blood programs in college basketball history facing off from New Orleans in the CBS Sports Classic? The Classic is a neutral-site, four-team college basketball tournament among perennial powers Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and UCLA. Last year it was in Las Vegas. The schools have each agreed to participate in the event once again in 2018 and 2019. Including North Carolina’s national championship last season, collectively the four programs have won 26 NCAA titles.
Three of the four programs have enjoyed success in The Big Easy — both Kentucky and Ohio State advanced to the 2012 Final Four, with the Wildcats winning the national championship that year. North Carolina has also won two national titles in New Orleans (1982, 1993).
No. 7 Kentucky has one loss on the season, coming by four points in the early-season Champions Classic to a great Kansas team. UCLA is in a bit of a rebuilding season after losing freshmen stars Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf off last year’s team to the NBA. These Bruins have lost to Creighton, Michigan and Cincinnati, three good teams.
Last year, these schools played twice. In the regular season, UCLA went to No. 1 Kentucky and upset the Wildcats 97-92. UK’s 42-game home winning streak ended. In the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky eliminated UCLA 86-75. De’Aaron Fox, now with the Kings, scored a career-high 39 points and outplayed Ball, now with the Lakers. Fox not only turned in the best NCAA scoring performance for Kentucky since Tayshaun Prince had 41 against Tulsa in 2002, it was the best by a freshman in tournament history.
Minnesota Wild at Tampa Bay Lightning
When: Saturday, 7 PM ET (FSN, SUN)
Possible Stanley Cup Finals preview? Could be as the Wild make their lone visit of the regular season to Tampa. It’s the conclusion of a three-game trip for Minnesota and the second of a back-to-back after visiting the Florida Panthers on Friday night, so the Wild might not have their best game.
No. 1 goaltender Devan Dubnyk (lower body) is expected to join the team in Florida. He is listed as week-to-week after he sustained a lower-body injury on Dec. 12 against Calgary. Alex Stalock has played well in Dubnyk’s place, but Dubnyk is one of the NHL’s best when he’s right.
The Lightning are running away with the Atlantic Division and lead the NHL in points, scoring and goal differential. They were the NHL's first team to reach 50 points, doing so in just 32 games and haven’t even lost double-digit games yet.
The Bolts have two Hart Trophy candidates in Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. As a line, Stamkos, Kucherov and winger Vladislav Namestnikov have produced the second-most even-strength goals in the NHL. Because of a season-ending injury to Stamkos after 20 games in 2016-17, he and Kucherov played only 136 minutes together at even strength. Tampa Bay ranks No. 1 in the league, on the power play as well.
As great as the top line has been, maybe the biggest reason for the Lightning’s success is their offensive depth. Second line skaters Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat, and Tyler Johnson have generated 29 tallies, and Tampa’s third line notched 21 goals.
The Bolts did get some bad news recently with right wing Ryan Callahan ruled out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. He will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks.
The Rockets will crush the Clippers, and I expect Paul to have a massive night. Kentucky beats UCLA fairly easily and the Lightning handle the Wild 3-1.