The Heat were just 3 minutes away from beginning their road trip 2-0 but horrific play highlighted by a myriad of turnovers gave the Kings a 102-96 victory and handed the heat their 4th loss in 5 games. Hanging onto the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, their task gets much more difficult tonight as they face the defending champions at Oracle Center. The Warriors have won 14 of their last 15 games and look to be well on their way to their 3rd consecutive title. Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr. remain out for the visitors and Ryan Anderson and Dwyane Wade is questionable. Damian Jones is out for the hosts. Hassan Whiteside has been a bright spot for the Heat in recent weeks and this would generally be a favourable matchup for him but the Warriors have shored up their interior with DeMarcus Cousins back in the fold. Cousins is still shaking off the rust and has been on a moderate minutes limit but Kerr's willingness to play Cousins over the limit against the Suns shows he's ready to be a full time starter. The Heat had an enviable problem of having too many healthy rotation players but trading away Tyler Johnson has taken away some of their guard depth and stability that comes with a reliable ball handler. Wade's absence could furhter exacerbate this and this was exactly the issue late in the game against Sacramento that led to their complete unraveling. The Warriors didn't look well prepared against the Suns but still managed a double digit win in the end and we expect their complete focus tonight! Hosts to win by margin!
The Magic enter this matchup in no man's land at 24-32 and in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games behind the 8th place Heat. However, they have made some progress of late with 4 wins in their last 5 games and are coming off an impressive 103-83 win over the 1st place Bucks, though Milwaukee was without Giannis Antetokuonmpo last night. THe Hawks lost to the Hornets last night much as we expected and have began their 7 game homestand with 2 losses. Mo Bamba is out for the visitors and Miles Plumlee is out for the hosts. The Hawks don't defend much of anything too well but their interior defense is especially lacking and should be a favourable matchup for All-Star Nikola Vucevic. Orlando's shooting has really picked up over the last week and they should win this by a comfortable margin.
Have a second free PREMIUM football bet on us ———— Still a lot to play for in Spain La Liga, and with the table being very tight chances are it will look very different come the end of the season. Espanyol started the season well, but six straight defeats from 11 November saw them drop down the table. Despite losing ground, Rubi remains in charge. In the last round, the second club from Barcelona made a brave comeback from 2-0 down at Villarreal (2-2), that effort should certainly have restored faith in the players. The other thing to mention is the Periquitos won 6 of there 10 matches at the RCDE stadium! After going through a dreadful period Rayo Vallecano managed to take a whopping 13 points from five successive matches. That at least took the Madrid club out of the relegation zone for now, but from what we saw against both Real Sociedad (2-2) and Leganes (lost 1-2 against ten men) Michel will have his work cut out. For us, that latest effort was the worse we have seen the Red Sashes play all season, and based on that we are ready to take them on! We have seen enough of Espanyol to suggest they will be able to rise again, because Rayo will start to struggle.
We have 10 premium football bets for today, here is one on us -------- Just like we thought, Southampton are much improved under Ralph Hasenhuttl. The new Saint’s boss has taken a team which was lacking confidence on a run of five league matches unbeaten. An home win against Everton (2-1) and three points in Leicester (1-2) are testimony to the Austrian building team spirit. The only challenge now for the hosts is to put some daylight between themselves and the drop zone - we believe they will do that with three points here. As a newly promoted team Cardiff were always going to be up against the elements. To be fair, Neil Warnock has done a really good job with few resources, but like he has always said it will be a miracle for his club to survive the season! With that said, in the last round Warnock’s players pulled off a tidy home win against Bournemouth. And, that was certainly in the face of adversity, following newly signed player Emiliano Sala being killed in a plane crash. On a less positive note, the visitors have only managed 5 points from 12 away games. Expect the Saints to continue progressing with a vital win here!
UK Racing is out because of Equine flu, meaning we just have Ireland for today. If UK racing doesn’t return next week, we will start sending out French racing tips to subscribers. If anything, we are better again in France, albeit we don’t like sending out bets for an obvious reason. That is if customer stakes get into the PMU pool, we shoot ourselves in the foot by lowering the odds (pool bets). However, UK bookies will start to price up French racing and we hope our followers will be prudent enough to stick with that ———— For today —————— FAUGUERNON will need to improve significantly. ROYAL THIEF could be anything, but he will need to be special to win first time up. ADVANTAGE POINT improved from his first hurdle race to finish 3rd over 2M3F here and he might need a bit further. While he’s more exposed, it’s got to be worth chancing ALL FOR JOY. He’s a p-2-p winner, and he’s ran some solid races in bumpers. On his only try over hurdles he ran against much better opposition than here. A 5 pound claimer should help his cause, and todays rain could be help.
The Rockets did their best to make some moves before the trade deadline but effectively replacing James Ennis with Iman Shumpert was all they could muster and was hardly a blip on the radar as far as meaningfully improving their roster. They enter this matchup with 6 wins in their last 8 games but of concern is their ATS record which is a paltry 3-8 in their last 11 games. The Thunder have been in excellent form with 9 wins in their last 10 games with the only loss coming to the Celtics last week. Clint Capela remains out for the hosts. Alex Abrines is out for the visitors. The Rockets are really missing Capela in our opinion as their lack of size is glaring even with him in the lineup. Ken Faried has been a high energy player and has provided a spark in Capela's absence but is undersized and isn't enough to improve the Rockets' 6th worst rebounding rate in the league. In contrast, the Thunder rebound the ball well, especially on the offensive end with their mammoth center Steven Adams and their team defense is terrific at defending the 3. They are a bit reliant on one player in Paul George to generate most of their points as Russell Westbrook has taken a step back this season offensively but we do have to admit that Westbrook is also a bit better getting his teammates involved this year. The Rockets' defense ranks among the league's worst and hasn't changed much throughout the season and James Harden is relied upon more than any other player in the league for their team. Harden will be the best player on the court but the visitors have too many advantages in all other areas. We make the visitors the favourites!
The Clippers suffered a humbling 116-92 loss to the Pacers on Thursday though to be fair, coach Doc Rivers had just 10 players available in the aftermath of the trade deadline. It seems obvious that LA is waving the white flag on the season but this should be an important game for Rivers facing his old team. The Celtics have won 10 of their last 12 games but are coming off a 129-128 loss to the Lakers on Thursday that saw a familiar face knock down the game winning shot in improbable fashion. Newcomers to LA, JaMychal Green and Landry Shamet are both available for tonight's game. Ivica Zubac is questionable after coming over from the other team in LA and Danilo Gallinari should suit up again after returning to action on Thursday. For the Celtics, Daniel Theis is questionable and Aron Baynes remains out. The Celtics are lacking size at the moment and will have to go deep into their bench with defensive specialist Robert Williams if Theis is unable to go. The Clippers have similar issues and after waiving Marcin Gortat and trading away Boban Marjanovic, are down to Montrezl Harrell as their starting center. Harrell brings terrific energy and hustle but is a bit undersized and adds to their rebounding troubles. The Clippers' new rotations will take some time for Rivers to get correct but what's clear is that they lost a reliable scorer in Tobias Harris and when options are limited, that's when Lou Williams' effectiveness begins to wane. We don't expect much success on the offensive end for the visitors but we believe they should be able to do enough with hard nosed defensive effort to keep the hosts from running away with it. We believe this number is a tick too high!
The Hornets are one of the more inconsistent teams in the league but they can generally be counted on to handle their business against the dregs of the league. They're coming off a particularly discouraging loss to the Mavericks by a final score of 99-93 and their road form is a dreadful 7-19 but their competition hasn't been the easiest away from home and their ATS record is a more respectable 11-15. The Hawks are a lottery bound team but they have made good progress this year and are developing good young talent along with a promising new head coach. Tony Parker is out for the Hornets and is the only injury concern for either side. We have to be impressed with the Hawks' competitive spirit but their defense is still very much a work in progress and should be exposed by one of the best guards in the league in Kemba Walker. The Hornets rely on outside shooting and this is simply an area the Hawks do not defend well with poor defensive rotations and failure to close out effectively. The Hawks should have some success with their big men but their up and down style should play right into the visitors' hands. 2.5 points should be easily covered here in our opinion!
We have 20 premium football bets over the weekend, here is one for freebie users for tonight - With 14 matches remaining, Breda are bottom of the league with 16 points from 20 games. With the next five teams all within striking distance, it’s probably fair to suggest Mitchell van Der Gaag’s players are still in control of there own destiny. One thing which will give hope is home form hasn’t been an issue. While it could obviously be better again, 14 points from 10 games is a fair return and hardly relegation material. However, just two points on the road, and a last round mauling from direct relegation candidates Graafschap (3-0) the situation is starting to become obvious - Breda need to improve significantly! AZ Alkmaar haven’t had the best of seasons, but since the start of 2019 things look different. As it stands, the Cheeseheads won all four competitive matches since, and they did it by an aggregate of 12-0. In the last round , the players of John Van der Brom put five past Emmen, and other wins were against decent sides Heerneveen (0-2), Vitesse (2-0) and Utrecht (3-0). With no real player issues, a comfortable traveller like AZ Alkmaar should win this with a bit to spare. and, while we feel it’s prudent to take the -1 line, those more risk averse could give away more.
The Bulls made a move before the trade deadline, sending Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker to the Wizards for Otto Porter. Porter cleared his physical but is still questionable for this game. The Nets were involved in a minor trade with the Raptors that netted them Greg Monroe but it's likely Monroe will be waived. Chandler Hutchison and Wendell Carter Jr. remain out for the visitors. Zach LaVine is questionable. Spencer Dinwiddie and Jared Dudley remain out for the hosts. The Nets have gone through a tough stretch with respect to injuries but Allen Crabbe returned from a 26 game absence on Wednesday and Caris LeVert is expected back tonight as well. The Bulls were utterly dreadful defensively against the Pelicans and we can't expect much different against a Nets team that runs a similar offense. The Nets with key players back should cruise to an easy victory here in our opinion!
With the trade deadline come and gone, there was some shakeup on both rosters with the Knicks seeing the biggest change. The Knicks moved on from Kristaps Porzingis, shipping him, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke to the Mavericks for Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and Dennis Smith Jr.. The Pistons made two deals, sending Stanley Johnson to the Bucks and subsequently the Pelicans, for Thon Maker and Reggie Bullock to the Lakers for Svi Mykhaliuk. Ish Smith is probable for the hosts. Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay remain out for the visitors. The Pistons lost an excellent shooter in Bullock and some depth with Johnson and face a Knicks team that has no ambitions of winning games this season. We see a low scoring game.
Have it on us - CASTLE OLIVER did well to win a bumper last time out, because at one stage he was squeezed out and that left him playing catch-up. One issue for us is that in Ireland bumper winners are penalised, and that will mean giving weight to SPYGLASS HILL. Henry De Bromhead’s runner is rated 118 and he’s receiving 6 pounds from the early favourite. Do the maths and you will soon come to the conclusion that CASTLE OLIVER will need to find a lot for the switch to hurdles. PS - Despite not winning any of his 4 races under rules, the selection has improved with each run!