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Weekend Picks: Top Plays in NBA and MLB for April 7 and April 8

In about a week, the NBA Playoffs start. That won’t preclude me from picking NBA games this Saturday and Sunday. I’ve analyzed 3 NBA games on Saturday and 3 NBA games on Sunday. I’ve also analyzed 3 MLB games on Saturday and 3 MLB games on Sunday.

2018 NBA Week 25 Weekend and MLB Betting Picks April 7 and 8

Saturday, April 7

Top NBA Picks

Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks

The Milwaukee Bucks have secured a playoff spot. The big question is whether the Bucks are the 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th seed. They want to win the rest of their regular season games so that they can get as high of a playoff seed as possible.

Beating the Knicks straight up won’t be as easy as most NBA handicappers might believe. The reason is because the Knicks have some motivated players, especially, Kyle O’Quin and Tim Hardaway Jr. No matter who you like to win, NYK is 20 and 18 against the spread at home. I believe they do enough to keep this game within the number.

Pick: New York Knicks

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets

5 of the 8 seeds in the Western Conference Playoffs have yet to be decided. The Houston Rockets have already secured the 1-seed. Golden State is a 2-seed. The Portland Trailblazers are a 3-seed. After that? It’s wide-open.

Oklahoma City has yet to secure a post-season berth. The Thunder should be plenty motivated to beat the Rockets straight up on Saturday. With that being written, Houston is the best team in the NBA right now. Can the Thunder beat the Rockets on the road? My guess, is that Houston doesn’t show as much as it usually does.

What’s the point when home court is already in the bag? I like Oklahoma City to cover the spread if they end up the favorite. If they end up the dog, they’ll be a great play on the moneyline.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland Trailblazers at San Antonio Spurs

The Portland Trailblazers showed up big time after NBA All-Star Weekend. Portland is on a tear. They’ve gone 17 and 4 straight up in their last 21 games. This is before Portland’s April 5 throw down versus the Houston Rockets.

The Trailblazers beat San Antonio 111 to 110 the last time they faced the Spurs. San Antonio should turn that game right around on Saturday. San Antonio must win to secure a playoff spot. The Spurs are 45 and 34 as of April 4.

So are the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the New Orleans Pelicans. Get what I’m driving at here? The Spurs should be motivated. Portland might just want to make sure nobody gets hurt.

Pick: San Antonio Spurs 

Top MLB Picks

Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals

Zack Greinke versus Michael Wacha should be a nice match up. Greinke has a 1.59 ERA so far this season. He’s held St. Louis batters to a .218 batting average. The Cardinals send Luke Weaver to the mound to battle Greinke.

Weaver, whom the Cardinals acquired during the offseason, was fantastic in his first start as a Cardinal. He pitched 5 innings. He gave up 1 earned run off 5 hits. The D’Backs have a solid batting lineup. Greinke should be an over bet favorite in this match up, though. That means Weaver and the Cardinals are the play.

Pick: St. Louis Cardinals 

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers

The Cubs expect Yu Darvish to be one of their aces this season. If Darvish pitches the way he did in his first game as a Cub, that won’t happen. In his first start, Darvish was terrible when yielding 5 earned runs off 5 hits in only 4.1 innings. What’s worse is that Darvish pitched that badly against the Miami Marlins.

Milwaukee’s Zach Davies wasn’t much better in his first start of the season. Davies yielded 6 earned runs off 8 hits in 5.2 innings. The Cubs bat .269 off Davies. However, Chicago’s batting lineup hasn’t yet got on track.

I’m siding with Milwaukee because Darvish must prove to me that he’s still the ace pitcher he was two seasons ago.

Pick: Milwaukee Brewers 

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay versus Boston could end up a pitchers duel on Saturday. The reason is because Tampa sends Jacob Faria and his 2.25 ERA to the mound to battle Rick Porcello and his 1.69 ERA. Who wins when two top pitchers throw down?

I’ll end up backing Tampa Bay. The reason is because Boston figures to go off the favorite. The Rays do bat .268 versus Porcello as a team.  That’s not bad at all. Boston’s only faced Faria 46 times. In those 46 at-bats, the Red Sox have 7 hits. That’s a .152 batting average.

Tampa Bay’s the play.

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays

Sunday, April 8

Top NBA Picks

Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets

Indiana, surprisingly, has secured a spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Charlotte hasn’t. The Pacers, like most every team in the Eastern Conference not named Toronto or Boston, wants to win to secure the highest possible playoff seed.

The Pacers lost 126 to 133 the last time they faced Charlotte.  The Hornets should play hard on Sunday. This is a tough game to figure. I believe if Charlotte gets any daylight Indiana rests their starters. That means the Hornets are the play against the spread.

Pick: Charlotte Hornets 

Detroit Pistons at Memphis Grizzlies

Two of the worst teams in the NBA battle each other on Sunday. After trading for Blake Griffin, the Detroit Pistons really thought they’d make it to the postseason. That won’t happen. Detroit’s record, 37 and 41 as of April 5, isn’t close to being what they thought it would be.

Detroit’s won’t be motivated to beat Memphis. The Grizzlies, though, are just an awful basketball team. Before their April 6 game versus the Sacramento Kings, the Grizzlies are 16-22-1 against the spread at home.

That’s terrible. But, Memphis might get Chandler Parsons, Andrew Harrison, Wayne Selden, and JaMychal Green back for this. Not only that, but players like Ivan Rabb and Marshon Brooks have stepped it up in recent games. I think Memphis could beat Detroit straight up.

Pick: Memphis moneyline

Utah Jazz at L.A. Lakers

Utah beat the L.A. Lakers 117 to 110 the last time they faced them. Although they won, the Jazz didn’t cover the spread because they were -11 home favorites. What’s more surprising is that the Lakers shot 50% from three against Utah’s fantastic defense.

PG Lonzo Ball didn’t play versus the Jazz. He should play on Sunday against Utah because the Lakers are at home. With Ball on the court, L.A. could upset Utah on the moneyline. I’m going glass half full and writing that’s what happens.

Pick: L.A. Lakers moneyline

Top MLB Picks

Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees

Chris Tillman had no shot in his first start of the season. The Baltimore Oriole pitcher faced the Houston Astros. The Stros ran Tillman off the mound after only 4 innings. His ERA ended up at 9.00.

The Yankees have listed Sonny Gray as their starter in this match up on Sunday. Sonny gave up only a single run in his first start of the season. The problem is that Gray allowed 10 base runners. His WHIP was 2.25 versus Toronto on April 1.

The Orioles bat .308 versus Gray. That’s definitely not a good sign for the Yankees. However, New York’s bullpen is better than Baltimore’s. I believe if Gray settles down he can be effective enough for 5 to 6 innings. That should lead to at least a 2-run Yankee victory.

Pick: New York Yankees run line

Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers

Toronto ace Marcus Stroman takes the mound for the Blue Jays. Stroman’s over 7.00 ERA versus the Yankees in his first start of the season isn’t like him. He’s a better pitcher than that. The Rangers only bat .182 versus Marcus. It’s important to note that the Rangers have only faced Stroman 33 times. That might open the door for Texas and Mike Minor. Toronto hits .218 versus Minor, whom they’ve faced 55 times.

I think the Rangers are the play.

Pick: Texas Rangers

New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Mets versus Nationals might be the most competitive match up on April 8. The Mets start Steven Matz Matz has faced Washington 80 times. The Nationals bat .200 versus Matz. Gio Gonzalez, whom should start for Washington Sunday, has faced Mets batters 238 times. The Mets bat .256 against Gio.

Gio had his best stuff in his first game this season, though. He pitched 6 innings versus the Cincinnati Reds and yielded a single earned run off 5 hits. Because Matz lasted only 4 innings against St. Louis in his first start, the Nats might be over bet in this match up.

That makes the Mets a decent underdog moneyline play.

Pick: New York Mets  

What do you think?

Written by D.S. Williamson

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