Archive for May, 2016

NBA Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder Host San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of Western Semifinals

The Oklahoma City Thunder turned things around quickly to even their Western Conference semifinal with the San Antonio Spurs at 1-1 Monday night, which means Oklahoma City now have home-court advantage for the rest of the series – starting with Game 3 Friday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Tip-off is at 9:30 PM ET on ESPN.

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After getting blown out in Game 1 as losing 92-124, the Thunder took advantage of some uncharacteristically poor shooting by San Antonio in Game 2. Then OKC withstood a late run by the Spurs to win 98-97 as 8.5-point road dogs on the closing line, up from +7.5 at the open. Despite the victory, Oklahoma City remains a +230 underdog to win this series and advance to the Western Final.

Both teams have their full rosters active for Game 3. Up to this point, the star of the show has been LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 79 points for San Antonio over the first two games, and even sank both his 3-point attempts – the only two he’s made all year after shooting 0-for-16 during the regular season.

Kevin Durant (44 points)  and Russell Westbrook (43 points) have combined to shoot 2-of-13 from long range for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Add comment May 4th, 2016

Bye-bye Bayern Munich – Atletico Madrid reach Champions League Final

Bayern Munich pummelled Atletico Madrid in the return leg of their Champions League semi-final but conceded an away goal and were eliminated on away goals despite winning the match 2-1.

Xabi Alonso opened the scoring in the 31st minute via a deflected free-kick to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 lead on the night and level the aggregate scores a 1-1, and the German side poured on the pressure with  73% of possession and 33 shots to 7 over the course of the match.

Atletico Madrid “parked the bus” in front of goal for much of the match, but were always quick to counter-attack and a 53rd minute goal from Antoine Griezmann did the damage, as it meant that Bayern Munich needed to win by two clear goals in order to progress.

Robert Lewandoski scored from a header in the 74th minute to give the Germans a 2-1 lead on the night, but they still needed another goal to progress and they just could not find another way past Attletico keeper Jan Oblak.

Atletico Madrid will meet Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final in Milan on 28 May.

Add comment May 3rd, 2016

Leicester City win English Premier League

Leicester City started the season as 5000-1 outsiders and have ended the season as league champions with two games to spare.

It was the first time since Nottingham Forest in 1978 that a team in England won the top division for the first time, and with money increasingly dominating the top of the game it seemed unlikely that ANY club would do it for the foreseeable future.

Hindsight shows that the bookmakers were probably a little bit lax to start The Foxes at 5000-1 after the arrival of a new big spending owner who splashed out 83m on 23 new players, and ignoring their end to last season when they won 7 of the last nine fixtures – but no-one expected the unsung Leicester City side to last at the top of the table all season.

Should we have been surprised though?

Looking at the other big leagues in Europe, they had all had “first-time” winners over the last 25 years- two of them in the last decade.

– Italy celebrated Sampdoria winning in 1991
– Spain had Deportivo La Coruna in 2000
– Germany saw Wolfsburg win in 2009
– France witnessed Montpellier succeed in 2012

So yes it was a long shot, but perhaps not quite as long as those 5000-1 odds the bookmakers offered, and I suspect that we will see a little more thought put into those league winning odds at the start of the 2016-17 season in August!


Add comment May 3rd, 2016


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