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Friday, 24 April 2015

Weekend Football Picks 2015 (April 25-26)

Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur Pick: Unless Aston Villa beat Arsenal in the FA Cup Final, which would be a big surprise, both of these teams will be playing in the Europa League next season. While that will be exciting for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur fans will be disappointed they haven't found a way to challenge for a place in the Champions League.

Both of these teams weren't that far away from the top four places a couple of months ago, but neither Southampton nor Tottenham Hotspur have been consistent enough to keep up with the pace set by those sides. That is the main reason that there are now 7 points between these sides and Manchester City in the top four and games have run out to really expect either to challenge at this late stage.

The game was picked for television coverage at a time when it could have had huge Champions League implications, but both Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino might already have begun work on next season behind the scenes.

Tottenham Hotspur did win 1-3 at Newcastle United last weekend, but they had won just 1 of 5 away games in all competitions prior to that, while they had failed to score in 3 of 4 on their travels. That might be an issue as they visit St Mary's where Southampton have won 3 in a row in the Premier League and have kept clean sheets in each of those victories.

Suffice to say that Burnley and Hull City are not as good as Spurs going forward, but Crystal Palace were also prevented from scoring and that is more impressive from Southampton. Koeman will likely make sure his Saints team is hard to beat again this weekend, but I also expect the home team to have some chances because I don't trust this Tottenham Hotspur defence to keep teams out.

A small interest might be worth taking on Southampton to keep up their recent positive home form and backing them to win with a clean sheet looks a big price.

Burnley v Leicester City Pick: The term 'relegation six pointer' has been made for games like this- with five games left for Burnley and six left for Leicester City, it is no exaggeration to suggest the team that loses this weekend will occupy one of the bottom three places in May.

That will almost certainly be felt by the players too and this match could come down to which of the sets of players deals with the tension and pressure the best.

You could make a reasonable argument for any of these teams, but I am stunned to see Leicester City as such an underdog considering they are clearly the form team of the two. You do have to put in a disclaimer for Burnley in that they have faced the top seven in the Premier League in recent weeks, but I am not entirely convinced about them in the final third and now Ashley Barnes is suspended too.

A lack of goals has to be a real concern for Sean Dyche, especially as Leicester City will come to Turf Moor having scored 10 goals in their last 4 Premier League games. That includes hitting three goals at both Tottenham Hotspur and West Brom, while Leicester City also scored twice at Everton in a recent away game.

I'd fear for Burnley if Leicester City can score twice here, although the defence is still far from watertight and the home team will have chances. However, the expectation and need to win will force Burnley out of their own defensive shape of recent weeks and I think Leicester City have a huge chance of winning this game, far more than the layers seem to think anyway.

Nigel Pearson has seemed to have found the formula that has produced goals for Leicester City and I think that confidence can see them win this game and find a way to move out of the bottom three at a vital time.

Crystal Palace v Hull City Pick: I was very surprised to see Crystal Palace beaten last weekend, but perhaps even more surprised that their attacking talents were blunted as effectively as they were by West Brom. Much of that might have been down to the insight that Tony Pulis would have had having worked with these players last season, but Crystal Palace also didn't get a little bit of a break with the chances that fell to their players.

It might not be the case this weekend as they take on an out of form Hull City team that are under increasing pressure from the three teams below them in the Premier League table. The fact that those three teams occupy the relegation zone only makes it even harder for Steve Bruce and his men, while injuries have been hurting the side.

Bruce might have been grateful for the unexpected break that Hull City have had thanks to Liverpool playing in the FA Cup Semi Final, but they need to start picking up points if they are going to avoid the drop. With the owner threatening to withdraw from the club, the financial implications of relegation could be huge for a club like Hull City, but it is hard to see where they are going to get the points to survive.

Games like this are likely being circled as they face Liverpool and Arsenal at home next, but visiting Selhurst Park is far from easy with the pace and power Crystal Palace have in forward areas. The end of their 4 game winning run might have broken some momentum, but I am expecting Crystal Palace to get back to form this week and I think they will put Hull City under intense pressure.

If Hull City score first, they might get something here, but they have lost 3 of their last 4 away games in the Premier League and defeats at West Ham United, West Brom, Stoke City and Swansea won't fill Hull City with confidence. At odds against, Crystal Palace might be a better option this week than they were at odds on against West Brom last week.

Queens Park Rangers v West Ham United Pick: This is a big game for Chris Ramsey and his Queens Park Rangers team and a victory could see them move out of the bottom three which has become a real battle thanks to Leicester City's form. It was supposed to be the form at Loftus Road that was going to keep Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, but they have lost 6 straight home games in the Premier League although they have come against sides in the top seven and Everton.

However, I do like the chances of Queens Park Rangers this weekend as they entertain a West Ham United team that looked disinterested at best at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, The uncertain future of Sam Allardyce is having a negative impact on a team that has also been hit hard by injuries and they do look a team that is there for the taking.

Leicester City took advantage of the problems at Upton Park by beating West Ham United at home and Queens Park Rangers have to match that result if they are going to survive in the Premier League. Performances have certainly improved in recent weeks for Queens Park Rangers and they were unfortunate to lost 0-1 to Chelsea in their last game here.

With Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora up front, I expect Queens Park Rangers to cause West Ham United problems and they have to be worth a small interest to earn a priceless three points this weekend.

Stoke City v Sunderland Pick: I'll be the first to admit that certain teams in the Premier League should never be odds on to win a game of football, but Stoke City might just be playing well enough at the Brittania Stadium to make those count this weekend. The concern has to be Dick Advocaat getting an extra week to get a solid gameplan in place and Sunderland can be quite compact defensively, but their lack of goals and some of the heavy defeats has to have dented confidence.

There is a very similar situation to Hull City for Sunderland in saying they have a difficult run in this season and this is the one away game that they might have circled as one they can earn points from.

However, Stoke City have really turned their form around at the Brittania Stadium and are playing with a clear goal on improving on their 9th place Premier League finish from last season. The players are clearly focused having come from a goal behind to beat Southampton here last weekend and Stoke might have enough to earn the three points in this one.

As I said, the biggest issue may be Advocaat putting in a solid gameplan that allows Sunderland to battle to a point, but Stoke City have a strong home record in recent weeks and against Sunderland. First goal is always crucial in these kinds of games and hopefully Stoke City can get that on their way to three points.

West Brom v Liverpool Pick: The disappointment of this season has led to some Liverpool fans calling for the sacking of Brendan Rodgers, which is remarkable when you consider they were a slip away from winning the Premier League twelve months ago. Rodgers has to take some of the criticism for the season Liverpool have had because some of the signings were simply not up to scratch, but I don't think he has been helped by the early decision made by Steven Gerrard that he would be leaving and the long-term injury to Daniel Sturridge.

Up until the a month ago, Liverpool were considered the form team in the Premier League, but losing to Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League ended their Champions League ambitions, while the defeat to Aston Villa in the FA Cup was a huge blow.

It will be interesting to see how the players react to these blows over the last month of the season with not much left to play for. It is almost certain that Liverpool will be playing in the Europa League next season as long as Arsenal win the FA Cup, but even falling out of that competition might be better for their long-term prospects.

West Brom also come into the game with a lot of confidence having earned a surprising win at Selhurst Park last weekend and that result should be enough to keep them in the Premier League. Their last couple of games at The Hawthornes have been disappointing though as they have lost to Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City and West Brom might be preparing to face a wounded Liverpool who have the pace in forward positions to cause this defence some problems.

On the other hand, I would expect the Baggies to give Liverpool a lot of issues when they get forward too and it might produce a game where a number of chances are created. As long as the teams aren't wasting those chances, West Brom and Liverpool can combine for at least three goals in this one.

Manchester City v Aston Villa Pick: No matter what you think about Tim Sherwood, he deserves to be praised for guiding Aston Villa to the FA Cup Semi Final as well as the way they are fighting to avoid relegation in the Premier League. Sherwood has reinvigorated Christian Benteke, while the rest of the team are playing with a confidence that was severely lacking under Paul Lambert and makes Aston Villa a dangerous game for Manchester City.

However, this is a ground where Manchester City have really been performing well over the last few Premier League games and that comfort should lead to another win.

Manuel Pellegrini will be happy to hear that David Silva is unlikely to miss any playing time after a nasty looking injury picked up last Sunday, and Sergio Aguero looks like a player that might have returned to form just in time.

It isn't in time for a Premier League title challenge, but Manchester City can't afford to fall out of the top four in the table and Aguero's goals are vital for them to do that. The Argentinian might be able to add to his recent successes in front of goal considering the injuries that Aston Villa are dealing with at the back could be exposed in this one.

Aston Villa have struggled at the Etihad Stadium in the past, but they are arguably coming here with more confidence than at any time in recent seasons. However, Manchester City have won 4 in a row here in the Premier League, have played better defensively at home and all of those wins have come by at least two goals. I will back them to do the same this weekend.

Everton v Manchester United Pick: Even in defeat at Champions elect Chelsea, Manchester United showed enough to suggest the future could be very bright at Old Trafford, especially if more is spent to strengthen the squad in the summer. Personally I don't want to get ahead of myself with the additional games of the Champions League sapping more energy from the squad than they have had to face this season, but it is still exciting times.

For the fans, this is a chance to really exorcise the demons of the David Moyes era as Manchester United travel back to Goodison Park where Moyes' time was up a little over a year to the day. Last season Manchester United were beaten here 2-0 and barely looked interested, but things have changed for both clubs since then and the away side come here in a different frame of mind.

If the game had come a couple of months ago and Manchester United were displaying the form they are at the moment, they would be big favourites to win. However, Everton have just turned their own form around and have won their last 5 games at Goodison Park in all competitions which will give them a lot of confidence too.

The fans are always up for the visit of Manchester United so the atmosphere won't be lacking on Sunday and I can see both teams looking to get on the front foot. Manchester United should have an element in control of the midfield if Everton are without the likes of Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar, but the away side are still not completely convincing in defence.

Marouane Fellaini has been having a big impact at Old Trafford this season and might be the key player again against his former club and I can see both teams having their chances in this one. A draw isn't really anything for either team so I will back at least three goals being shared by them as both teams push for a big victory.

Arsenal v Chelsea Pick: Arsene Wenger has never beaten Jose Mourinho and Arsenal failing to beat Chelsea on Sunday will mean the Blues can win the Premier League title by winning their next two games and have it wrapped up a week on Sunday.

They have met five times at Arsenal with Mourinho in the Chelsea dugout and it is 2 wins for the away team and 3 draws and you would say that Chelsea will be very happy with a point in this one. Jose Mourinho will likely set his team up to defend well and hope to nick something on the break, but it has to be pointed out that Chelsea have drawn 3 of the 4 games at Arsenal in the League under Mourinho.

Arsenal are in very good form heading into the game and you can understand the confidence some of their fans will have for this game. They have won their last 11 home games in all competitions against English opposition and Arsenal have enough attacking talent to move this Chelsea team around.

On the other hand, I am not sure how Arsenal will cope with Eden Hazard who has been magnificent for Chelsea all season and likely to have some space for his speed and dribbling ability to exploit if Arsenal push too far ahead. The absence of Diego Costa does take away a real focal point for Chelsea and I won't be that surprised if they end up playing a 'false nine' system this weekend as both Didier Drogba and Loic Remy are also doubtful.

This just feels like the kind of game that Mourinho has thrived upon through his career as a manager and I expect Chelsea play Arsenal tough all game and take a point which will put them on the brink of becoming Champions of England once again.

MY PICKS: Southampton Win to Nil @ 3.50 Coral (1 Unit)
Leicester City @ 3.00 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Crystal Palace @ 2.10 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Queens Park Rangers @ 2.40 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
Stoke City @ 1.95 Sky Bet (2 Units)
West Brom-Liverpool Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.98 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Manchester City - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.75 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Everton-Manchester United Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Arsenal-Chelsea Draw @ 3.30 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)

April Update15-21-1, - 10.79 Units (69 Units Staked, - 15.64% Yield)

March Final30-18, + 30.66 Units (88 Units Staked, + 34.84% Yield)
February Final20-24-2, + 3.19 Units (75 Units Staked, + 4.25% Yield)
January Final10-22-1, - 10.54 Units (57 Units Staked, - 18.49% Yield)
December Final25-19-1, + 18.70 Units (81 Units Staked, + 23.09% Yield)
November Final17-21, - 0.59 Units (69 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
October Final8-18, - 14.79 Units (47 Units Staked, - 31.47% Yield)
September Final12-18, - 2.28 Units (41 Units Staked, - 5.56% Yield)
August Final8-22, - 19.92 Units (51 Units Staked, - 39.06% Yield)

Season 2014/15130-162-4, + 4.43 Units (509 Units Staked, + 0.09% Yield)
Season 2013/14164-185-3, + 15.84 Units (577 Units Staked, + 2.75% Yield)
Season 2012/13+ 4.42 Units (415 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

Tennis Picks 2015 (April 24th)

It's Quarter Final time at the three tournaments being played this week across Europe and the biggest surprise has to be the absence of Rafael Nadal from the draw. I really believed Nadal was in for a big week in Barcelona as he looks to restore his confidence ahead of the French Open, but Fabio Fognini has to be given credit for battling through some tough periods to win that match in straight sets.

Nadal is going to have two big tournaments in Madrid and Rome to prove to himself that he is ready to challenge Novak Djokovic and retain his grip on the French Open that he has dominated for so long. However the loss in Barcelona will only have strengthened the belief that Djokovic is favourite to win the second Grand Slam of the season and that will only be hardened if he wins the next two Masters events as he has dominated the first three.

I'd go so far as to say Novak Djokovic is likely to go into the French Open as the odds on favourite to win the tournament as we get closer to that event and that will definitely be the case if he wins the titles in Madrid and Rome.

Kei Nishikori - 4.5 games v Roberto Bautista-Agut: With Rafael Nadal out of the Barcelona Open for a second season in a row at a very early stage of the tournament, Kei Nishikori is once again the strong favourite to win the event. As the defending Champion, Nishikori has won his first two matches here very comfortably and he dismissed the challenge of Roberto Bautista-Agut last season and I expect he will be too strong again.

That isn't to disrespect Bautista-Agut who had an impressive win over Pablo Cuevas in the last Round and who gave Tomas Berdych all he could handle in a narrow loss last week in Monte Carlo. However, Nishikori plays in a similar manner to Bautista-Agut but is just simply a more consistent player in most departments and I think that is why he will have the edge in this Quarter Final.

There were a high number of breaks of serve when these players met last season and this match is likely to have a similar pattern as neither Nishikori nor Bautista-Agut have a huge serve. I am expecting some long rallies between these players, but that is where I believe Nishikori will have the edge more often than not.

After some twists and turns, I like Nishikori to secure a 75, 63 win.

Fabio Fognini - 3.5 games v Pablo Andujar: The big question will be how Fabio Fognini can perform the day after the high of beating Rafael Nadal, especially as he was crushed by David Ferrer earlier this season following a victory over Nadal in Rio De Janeiro.

However, the match up looks a good one for Fognini as he has never previously lost a set to Pablo Andujar and I can understand why that might have happened. For all the mental let downs that Fognini has on the tennis court, he is still a player that has good athleticism and can force opponents to play a lot of balls, while Andujar also doesn't possess a serve that will earn him too many cheap points.

On the other hand, Fognini can get something out of his first serve and his dominance over Andujar can give him some extra confidence to get through this Quarter Final and back up an impressive win over Nadal.

He isn't always the most mentally focused, but I will back Fognini to find a 63, 64 win.

Angelique Kerber - 3.5 games v Ekaterina Makarova: There has been a clear turnaround in form displayed by Angelique Kerber over the last month compared to the first three on the Tour and playing in front of the home crowd should inspire her a little more.

It seemed to do the trick in a battling display to recover from being a set down against Maria Sharapova in the last Round and an eight match winning run will have restored any lost confidence she may have had.

The match up with Ekaterina Makarova is a decent one on this surface in my opinion as I am not convinced the Russian is most comfortable with the slippery surface under her feet. The head to head between them reads 6-4 in favour of Kerber too on surfaces that might see the level of competitiveness more even, but rarely are matches between them anything other than a straight sets victory.

As I said, I like Kerber on this surface compared with Makarova and I think she moves into the Semi Final following a 64, 64 win.

Caroline Garcia - 3.5 games v Madison Brengle: I was impressed in the manner that Caroline Garcia held herself together in her Third Round win over Carina Witthoeft as things were certainly not all going for her in that match. There were a few problems for Garcia in terms of looking after her serve in that match, but that is to be expected on the clay courts and the Frenchwoman was dominant for much of that match.

It won't be easy against the American Madison Brengle who has the tendency to make life awkward for opponents, although I am not sure she is best suited to the clay courts. An impressive win over Petra Kvitova might have more to do with the match rustiness of her opponent than Brengle's ability on clay, but it still has to be respected.

However, I think backing that up won't be easy against an in-form Garcia who is the better player as long as she doesn't get frustrated and lose focus.

I don't expect that to happen to a player that should be amongst the best in the world in the years to come and I believe she will find a way to come through with a 64, 64 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Kei Nishikori - 4.5 Games @ 1.95 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Fabio Fognini - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Angelique Kerber - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Caroline Garcia - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 4-6, - 4.88 Units (20 Units Staked, - 24.4% Yield)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (April 23rd)

Caroline Garcia - 3.5 games v Carina Witthoeft: Caroline Garcia has got something over Ana Ivanovic as she beat her for the third time in a row in the First Round which has also given her a good chance to pick up some vital Rankings point during the remainder of the week.

Any time you knock a Seed out of the draw, there will be room that is not expected in that section and Garcia has to find a way to take advantage of that now. It won't be easy with the home support that Carina Witthoeft will receive, but I think Garcia has the higher potential on a clay court with more consistency from the back of the court.

That isn't always a strength of Garcia who can quickly lose heart if things are not going completely to plan, but I still believe she can out-last Witthoeft in this match. Witthoeft was an impressive First Round winner over Mona Barthel, but she is still finding her way on the main Tour and Garcia can use her extra experience to ease through.

I will be looking for Garcia to serve well to keep the pressure on Witthoeft and eventually find her way into a 64, 64 win and a place in the next Round.

Kei Nishikori - 5.5 games v Santiago Giraldo: The last three times these players have met on the Tour has resulted in very easy wins for Kei Nishikori including when they met in the Final in Barcelona twelve months ago.

There are times that Santiago Giraldo has played at an extremely high level which takes the racquet out of his opponent's hands, but those days are not the common theme which is the reason the Colombian is not higher in the World Rankings. His erratic style can also explain why he has struggled so much against Nishikori, a player that can turn defence into attack very quickly, while also forcing opponents to hit one more ball than they would like.

Nishikori should make sure he returns plenty of serves which will force Giraldo to look to hit closer and closer to the lines and extract the mistakes that will just make the World Number 5's life that much easier.

As long as Nishikori can keep control of his own unforced errors, I think he is capable of coming through this match with some ease and a likely 64, 62 scoreline.

Victor Estrella + 3.5 games v Martin Klizan: Both of these players have won a title on the clay courts already this season and both will look at this match as a chance to progress and earn some big Ranking points.

Both Victor Estrella and Martin Klizan have come through with impressive wins under their belt as Marin Cilic and Juan Monaco were seen off respectively in the last Round. Neither player would have been a favourite to win those matches so the victory will give them a real confidence boost, although how they handle that victory is going to be important.

Martin Klizan has been in better recent form and I can understand why he has been set as the favourite, but Estralla battered him in Quito earlier this season and might be a little under-rated in this one. As much as Klizan can go through some real solid purple patches on the court, he is also never that far away from throwing in a tremendously poor set and I think Estrella doesn't go through the same peaks and troughs to the extent that Klizan does.

If Estrella can play his solid game, he should give Klizan some problems and may even take a set, if not the match, from the contest. That makes the 3.5 games he is being given look very appealing and worth backing.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games v Fabio Fognini: Take away the last game of the last match against Nicolas Almagro and you can't be anything but impressed in the manner of victory for Rafael Nadal. Now he gets the chance for a measure of revenge against the Italian Fabio Fognini who beat Nadal on the clay courts of Rio De Janeiro, but there were added factors going against Nadal in that match.

For example, Nadal had to play until the early hours of the morning the same day he was due back out to face Fognini and that had to have played a part in his defeat. He should be well rested this time and I also think Nadal's confidence is in a much stronger place having reached the Semi Final in Monte Carlo and finally beaten another top ten player.

You have to have respect for Fognini who is very capable on the clay courts as long as he remains mentally focused in the match and that is where the crowd comes in. They should be very pro-Nadal and that could potentially wind up Fognini and bring out the worst in his game, which won't help considering who he is facing on the other side of the court.

If Fognini does lose his mind, it might make things all the easier for Nadal and I expect the latter to move through to the Quarter Final off the back of a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Caroline Garcia - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kei Nishikori - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet365 (2 Units)
Victor Estrella + 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-4, - 4.56 Units (12 Units Staked, - 38% Yield)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (April 22nd)

Not been a very good start to the week with three losers and one voided, but there is still time to get back on the road to recovery with a lot of tennis scheduled for the next few days.

I will actually be having a week off from the tennis picks from the weekend with the tournaments next week not the best ahead of the Masters/Premier Events in Madrid and Rome and then we will only be a couple of weeks away from the French Open.

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 3.5 games v Andrey Kuznetsov: Philipp Kohlschreiber is clearly a player on the wane having passed his 30th birthday, but I think he is very comfortable on the clay courts and should be too good for Andrey Kuznetsov. The latter does have a slight advantage having played a match in Barcelona already, but I think Kuznetsov is going to have to dig very deep to see off Kohlschreiber.

These two did have a very tight match here in Barcelona two years ago, but I think the surface is one that should give Kohlschreiber an advantage. I believe he is going to be the more consistent player off the ground and that is a key when it comes to the slower surfaces, while Kohlschreiber has a decent serve which should set him up in a strong position in those games.

You don't want to completely dismiss Kuznetsov's ability on the clay considering he has performed well in Challenger events, but he has failed to bring that form into the main Tour level and that is an issue.

After a poor start to 2015, I think there are signs that Kohlschreiber is picking up his play and I like him to come through 64, 64 in this Second Round match.

Belinda Bencic v Julia Goerges: The home support will be behind Julia Goerges in this match and she has had previous success on the clay courts, but her last three appearances in this event has seen the German go out earlier than anticipated.

The match up with Belinda Bencic is a really tough opening match for both players and I think the Swiss Miss will be looking for a bit of revenge having been battered by Goerges at the Australian Open in January.

Neither player has spent a lot of time on the clay courts this season so far, but I think Bencic is the better player, although Goerges can play some pretty unplayable stuff at times. However, I also think Goerges can be very erratic on the court and giving away free points to Bencic might give the latter the edge in the match.

I can see this match going the distance, but Bencic to be a little more consistent and move through to the Second Round.

Garbine Muguruza + 3.5 games v Simona Halep: The big question for Simona Halep is whether she has had enough rest to recover from a very busy period on her schedule. Some have criticised Halep for missing Fed Cup duty, but she has to do what is right for her and that means preparing for the clay court season which culminated in a French Open Final appearance twelve months ago.

The first match on a new surface is always a difficulty and it saw Halep beaten in her first match in Stuttgart last year and she has a very tough draw against Garbine Muguruza who had a comfortable First Round win.

Muguruza was a Semi Finalist at Roland Garros and should be comfortable on the clay courts having grown up in Spain, while she has the power to move Halep around the court. I think the key for Muguruza will be to attack the Halep serve and keep the Romanian on the back foot as much as possible and prevent her from dictating the points.

The indoor clay court may also mean Muguruza is able to hit through the ball more comfortably and there is a real chance she can cause the upset, but I will take the games in a match that might go the distance.

MY PICKS: Philipp Kohlschreiber - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Belinda Bencic @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Garbine Muguruza + 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 0-3, - 6 Units (6 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Midweek Football Picks 2015 (April 21-23)

The Champions League and Europa League Semi Final line up will be set this week as the Second Legs of the Quarter Finals are completed. A couple of teams will already feel they have done enough from the First Legs last week, namely Barcelona and Napoli, but the other six ties to be played this week are finely poised.

Most eyes will likely be on Munich on Tuesday to see whether Bayern Munich can overturn a surprising 3-1 deficit against Porto, while on Wednesday the eighth Madrid derby of the season is played after a goalless draw last week.

Big games should produce some big moments over the next three days.

Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain Pick: It was a remarkably one-sided game in the First Leg as Barcelona dominated proceedings and deserved their victory in Paris. Barring a late defensive mistake, Barcelona would have already wrapped up their place in the Semi Final, but this is still a huge advantage and it will take something special for Paris Saint-Germain to earn a result.

The problem for the French side will be trying to get enough possession to score the three goals they need in the Nou Camp, while of course the big threat from the Barcelona front three means it is almost impossible to imagine a situation where the home team don't score.

Gaps are likely to open up if Paris Saint-Germain decide to chase the game, while injuries to key defensive figures mean it will be tough to contain what Barcelona throw at them. The returns of Marco Verratti and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from suspension means Paris Saint-Germain have two crucial figures back, but that won't help them keeping the backdoor closed and I think Barcelona are going to be far too strong for their visitors again.

In the last Round, Barcelona missed a host of chances to really hammer Manchester City and there is that to be concerned about as they won't need to win this game to progress. However, you have to think if those chances come again, the likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi won't be as proliferate again and with Paris Saint-Germain having to push on there should also be spaces to exploit.

I don't think Paris Saint-Germain will push forward too early, but Barcelona will really take advantage if they get in front in this tie and record a third comfortable victory over Paris Saint-Germain this season.

Bayern Munich v Porto Pick: I don't think I was the only person surprised by the manner of Porto's win over Bayern Munich last weekend, although the 3-1 margin wasn't enough for the layers to consider the Portuguese side the favourites to progress to the Semi Final.

However, it is a big advantage and I think the layers are perhaps overestimating Bayern Munich on past experiences, although it has to be said that they are dominant in front of their own fans.

The first goal is going to be so important in this Second Leg- you'd feel a Bayern Munich goal could inspire them to earn the win by at least two goals to try and book a place in the Semi Final. The Porto players could retreat and look to defend what they have which is very difficult at Bayern Munich and I'd favour the German side to qualify.

However, a Porto goal could see them counter-attack Bayern Munich and pick them off as they search for the three goals they would then need to progress. It is a tight balance in the tie, but I can't imagine Bayern Munich playing as badly as they did last week for the second time in this Quarter Final and I do think they will win this game.

Will it be enough to progress? I think there is every chance Bayern Munich will be too good for Porto this time around, but the pace in the forward positions that Porto have can't be ignored. Still, I fancy Bayern Munich to turn this tie around and win by a couple of goals at least.

Monaco v Juventus Pick: This might be the perfect position for Juventus to be in heading to Monaco as they look a team that is very comfortable playing on the counter-attack as they did in their victory at Borussia Dortmund in the last Round.

I also believe Monaco are much more comfortable when they are not being asked to push forward in search of goals and that is not something they can do with a deficit to chase. They prefer playing on the counter-attack themselves, but this might be a reverse of the First Leg with Juventus hanging back and Monaco perhaps being caught on the break.

Last week wasn't a great performance from Juventus, but they have the star striker on the field in Carlos Tevez and he will take the chances that he receives on the break and I do think Juventus can win this Second Leg.

Monaco just don't come off as a team that is going to score a lot of goals and while they have pace in forward areas, space might not be available like last week as Juventus draw them on and punish them on the break. That was the way Juventus hammered Borussia Dortmund in the last Round and I think they will be too good for Monaco in this one.

With the home team chasing, Juventus can grab a winning goal in this one and move into the Semi Final.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid Pick: The First Leg of this Quarter Final had to be one of the more entertaining goalless draws you can get as both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid created chances in the game at the Vicente Calderon.

Neither team really settled for the goalless draw either as they both attacked until the final minute and you have to think an early goal could really open this Second Leg up.

Real Madrid are the obvious favourites as they are going to be backed at home regardless, but they look remarkably short for a team that has yet to beat Atletico Madrid in seven attempts this season. Add in the fact they have won 1 of their last 6 home games against Atletico Madrid and lost half of those games and all of a sudden backing the visitors to avoid defeat at odds against looks a decent price.

Losing Luka Modric is a big blow to Real Madrid and their chances of winning trophies as the midfielder really bridges the defence to attack very effectively. Gareth Bale is another big loss, although he potentially takes part in this game and Atletico Madrid will believe one goal gives them a great chance of going through.

However, games between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in this Stadium usually do feature goals as there are spaces to be exploited. An early goal will only make it more open and this could be the fourth time in five games at the Santiago Bernebeu that we see at least three goals shared by the teams.

As I say though, an early goal would really open that chance up as teams will have to be a little more proactive. The longer it goes goalless, the more tension will come in and the fear of making a mistake that costs their team a place in the Semi Final will begin to affect the players.

There were enough chances last week to think the first goal can come within the first half hour of this game and that might lead to at least three goals being shared by the teams.

Dnipro v Club Brugge Pick: The game might have finished goalless in Brugge last week, but it was far from a drab affair and Dnipro might be kicking themselves for not grabbing an away goal having had the majority of the chances in the contest.

The feeling will still be that they are in a strong position to advance to the Semi Final, but they can't underestimate a Club Brugge team that has won 6 of 7 away games in the Europa League. The Belgian side will look to get more out of the counter attack in this one, but they also have to try and breach a Dnipro defence that has kept 7 clean sheets in a row at home and also has clean sheets in their last 3 home games in the Europa League.

Dnipro have won those 3 games including in both of the last two Knock Out Rounds and I think the Ukrainian team will have enough to progress to the Semi Final.

They are a decent enough price to back at odds against to win this Second Leg in the ninety minutes, but I think Club Brugge have shown enough through the competition to not be disregarded easily. Instead of just backing Dnipro to win, I am going to keep faith in their defensive performances too and I do think a small interest is warranted on them winning this one with a clean sheet to boot at a big price.

Fiorentina v Dynamo Kiev Pick: A goalless draw might be enough for Fiorentina to move through to the Semi Final, but it would be a real surprise if they want to risk sitting back in this Second Leg after the dominance they showed last week in Kiev. On another day, Fiorentina would have had a lead to take back home and they might also find themselves with more space as their opponents are going to have to score at least once and can't just sit deep like they did for much of the game at home.

Dynamo Kiev just haven't been as good on their travels and I think Fiorentina have a real edge in the tie. However, the confidence in the home dressing room as to have been dented from recent performances. Fiorentina have lost their last 2 home games in all competitions, while they have won 1 in 4 at home in the Europa League so there is plenty of life left in this tie, even if Dynamo Kiev have lost 3 of their last 4 away from home in this competition.

Any team getting ahead should open up spaces again as the team conceding will have to chase the game and this could be quite a fun game, especially if the first goal comes in the first half.

Both teams will have their chances in this one you would think and goals have been something of a feature of Dynamo Kiev's away games in the Europa League this season. Last week would have featured at least three goals with some better finishing in front of goal and this one will see spaces perhaps open up as the game develops which might see more opportunities created.

At odds against, I think backing at least three goals to be scored looks like it could be the right call from this game.

Napoli v Wolfsburg: The tie is over from a competitive standpoint, but Wolfsburg have had a strong season and won't want to exit the Europa League without showing Napoli they are far better than what they produced at home last week. They will likely get a chance to express themselves here as Napoli won't feel the urge to get forward and instead will look to exploit spaces on the counter attack which will suit Rafa Benitez just fine.

It was the high line that Wolfsburg played last week which ended up being a main factor in their downfall, and that might be the way Napoli expose them again this week. However, Wolfsburg are a team that can create chances and any complacency in the home squad thanks to a large lead might also help the German side score goals.

The layers clearly are offering some tempting prices for both teams to win because of the situation of the First Leg and I could make a case for either team winning. Napoli will have a chance on the counter-attack, while Wolfsburg will be looking to save some pride and the home team can take a narrow defeat and still progress.

They are also taking no chances of there being goals in this Second Leg, but I still think it might be worth backing there being at least three goals shared. Wolfsburg will play in a way that Napoli can get some opportunities on the counter-attack, while the German side are far better than what they produced last week. Both Napoli and Wolfsburg home/away games respectively have produced plenty of goals in the Europa League this season and I think this one will follow suit.

Of course there is a chance that some heads will drop in the away team if they fall behind early, but that might see Napoli run away with another big win as long as Rafa Benitez isn't ultra-conservative like he can be in Knock Out ties in European Football. I can see this game going in the 'open' direction though and I will back there being at least three goals shared.

Zenit St Petersburg v Sevilla Pick: It was a real surprise that a Zenit St Petersburg team missing four key players had played so well in Sevilla and the return of the likes of Danny and Hulk has to give the home team real belief they can overturn the 2-1 First Leg deficit.

You would be a fool to think that is a given against the defending Champions of the Europa League and Andre Villas-Boas has made it clear that he still thinks the edge rests with Sevilla. Of course holding a lead is important, but Zenit St Petersburg have been pretty strong defensively, especially at home, and keeping a clean sheet will give the Russian side every chance of stunning Sevilla.

That is also easier said than done as Sevilla have regularly found the net, but they don't travel as well as they play at home and were beaten in away games in the Quarter Final and Semi Final of the Europa League last season.

I do fancy Zenit St Petersburg's chances of coming through this tie when you consider they have clean sheets in 6 of their 7 home games in Europe this season. Earning another will give them every chance of securing the win in the Quarter Final, but I wouldn't be that surprised if this one goes into extra time either. I will back Andre Villas-Boas' men to secure the win in ninety minutes in the Second Leg.

MY PICKS: Barcelona - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.17 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Bayern Munich - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.98 Bet365 (2 Units)
Juventus @ 2.40 William Hill (2 Units)
Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Dnipro Win to Nil @ 3.50 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Fiorentina-Dynamo Kiev Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.05 William Hill (2 Units)
Napoli-Wolfsburg Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.67 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Zenit St Petersburg @ 2.30 Bet Fred (2 Units)

April Update11-17-1, - 10.93 Units (54 Units Staked, - 20.24% Yield)

March Final30-18, + 30.66 Units (88 Units Staked, + 34.84% Yield)
February Final20-24-2, + 3.19 Units (75 Units Staked, + 4.25% Yield)
January Final10-22-1, - 10.54 Units (57 Units Staked, - 18.49% Yield)
December Final25-19-1, + 18.70 Units (81 Units Staked, + 23.09% Yield)
November Final17-21, - 0.59 Units (69 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
October Final8-18, - 14.79 Units (47 Units Staked, - 31.47% Yield)
September Final12-18, - 2.28 Units (41 Units Staked, - 5.56% Yield)
August Final8-22, - 19.92 Units (51 Units Staked, - 39.06% Yield)

Season 2014/15130-162-4, + 4.43 Units (509 Units Staked, + 0.09% Yield)
Season 2013/14164-185-3, + 15.84 Units (577 Units Staked, + 2.75% Yield)
Season 2012/13+ 4.42 Units (415 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

Tennis Picks 2015 (April 21st)

There are three tournaments taking place this week which means there is a lot of tennis scheduled for Tuesday as the majority of those events really get going.

I only had the one pick from Monday, which was a poor one on Victor Troicki, but hopefully Tuesday will be a better day.

Fernando Verdasco - 5.5 games v Andrey Rublev: Andrey Rublev is a 17 year old Russian who won the Junior French Open last year so has to be respected, especially as he has won two matches to qualify for the main draw in Barcelona. The clay courts might be his favoured surface at the moment, but Fernando Verdasco is a big test of his credentials and might have too much experience and power for Rublev to deal with.

Rublev has won a couple of main Tour matches on the hard courts in North America so he won't feel overawed after winning a couple of matches here. However, I think his second serve could be a big weakness against someone like Verdasco and he might be facing more break points than Rublev can eventually deal with.

A lot of this match is down to how Verdasco approaches things too- he can't come to the court and expect Rublev to roll over, while the uncertainty of what to expect can be a concern for players. Nevertheless, I think Verdasco has enough power to keep Rublev from getting too much rhythm in the match and I like the Spaniard to win this First Round match.

I am expecting it takes Verdasco a little time to get used to what Rublev is bringing to the court, but eventually he prevails 63, 63.

Nicolas Almagro - 5.5 games v Paolo Lorenzi: Nicolas Almagro has been knocked out of the top 100 in the World Rankings and it might get a little worse before a lot better for the Spaniard. He has to defend his Semi Final points from last season here in Barcelona and faces Rafael Nadal in the Second Round if he can beat Paolo Lorenzi.

This should be a match up that works for Almagro even if Lorenzi is very comfortable on the clay courts, but the one concern would be how the Spaniard is feeling as he continues his recovery after a long lay-off.

It's all about being mentally tough in the big moments and perhaps that is the hardest thing to recover when off the Tour for a long time. However, it shouldn't be a match up that will surprise Almagro and he has the better power on his side of the court which may allow him to dictate the tempo of the play.

Lorenzi can be awkward at times, but I like Almagro to come through with a 64, 62 win in this one.

Carla Suarez Navarro - 5.5 games v Evgeniya Rodina: The tournament in Stuttgart brings some of the best players on the WTA Tour together as they get their clay court season truly underway so the biggest concern has to be the change in surface and perhaps being caught early on.

That is especially the case when you face a qualifier who has won three matches to get into the main draw as Evgeniya Rodina has- those wins will mean the conditions are no surprise to Rodina, while confidence is in a good place as it will be when putting a winning run together.

Rodina has also shown she is very strong on the clay courts, albeit at the level below the main Tour and she will give Carla Suarez Navarro plenty to think about. However, the Spaniard is playing with a lot of confidence herself having reached the Final in Miami and Quarter Final in Indian Wells last month and she is very comfortable on the clay courts.

The serve is less of a concern on the slower surfaces as Suarez Navarro will feel she can out-rally Rodina for much of the match and she is playing with the consistency and belief that has been built over the last couple of years. That has pushed Suarez Navarro into the top 10 of the World Rankings and I think she wears down Rodina in a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Fernando Verdasco - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Carla Suarez Navarro - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 0-1, - 2 Units (2 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (April 20th)

The first clay court Masters event of the 2015 season is in the books and it has just served to underline the fact that Novak Djokovic looks to be the player to beat heading into the French Open, a Grand Slam he has been desperate to win. His Semi Final win over Rafael Nadal was impressive and this was a week in which Djokovic dispatched everyone he faced without too many errors until the Final, but I am going to put down his performance against Tomas Berdych as 'spending too much emotionally' into beating Nadal the day before.

Djokovic still got the job done and became the first player to win the first three Masters events of a season, which is a remarkable feat no matter how it is dressed up. The next two big events in Madrid and Rome will harden Djokovic's position as favourite to win the French Open if he can continue his dominance at the Masters level, but I am expecting Rafael Nadal to perhaps offer a little more at both events.

Despite the loss to Djokovic, I think there were enough signs that Nadal is getting back to his best and the clay is where he feels most comfortable. Nadal himself spoke of the positives of this week as his performances were getting back to the standard we expect of him, but I think the tournament this week in Barcelona is essential for his mindset going into the next six weeks.

It might be an ATP 500 event, but Nadal has to re-establish his dominance on the clay and win a big title, especially in a decent looking field where he will be tested very early on. He potentially has to meet his conqueror from twelve months ago, Nicolas Almagro, in his first match, while both David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori will be looking to add more titles to their resume so this is a real chance for Nadal to show he is going to peak in time for the French Open.

This is arguably a more important tournament than the Masters in Madrid at the beginning of next month too as the conditions there don't always suit Nadal that well. If Nadal can win in Barcelona, which I think he more than capable of doing, then he can certainly start increasing confidence and becoming a bigger threat going into the next Grand Slam.

I will say something though, it isn't going to be too many times that you can back Rafael Nadal to win a tournament on clay that has the field that has assembled in Barcelona- two years ago I would have been recommending that price, but his lack of recent success makes him look far too short.

Kei Nishikori is the second favourite to defend his title and that does make sense, but again I think he is slightly short.

In Bucharest, the tournament looks a wide open one even if Gael Monfils is a fairly strong favourite to win the title- personally I couldn't trust Monfils and his lack of titles in his career is down to his inconsistency. However, other names are big prices because they are making their first appearances on the clay this season or they have tough draws and you can understand the prices being offered.

The WTA Tour also makes its first stop at a really big tournament on the clay courts in Stuttgart this week- Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep lead the field as well as the market, but that tournament is jam packed with top quality players and hard to pick a winner. Some players are coming back from Fed Cup duty, and this is the first appearance of many of them on clay, so it is better to avoid making an outright pick from that event too.

Victor Troicki - 3.5 games v Daniel Gimeno-Traver: The first Monday of a new week is always tough to find picks from as some of the events conclude their qualifying. This isn't the case this Monday as there is a full schedule in Barcelona, but my sole pick comes in Bucharest where I expect Victor Troicki to be a little too good for Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

It would be wrong to underestimate Gimeno-Traver who spends most of his time on the Tour playing on the clay courts and who was a recent Finalist in Casablanca. At least two of those wins came as the underdog and the Spaniard has also won a Challenger on the surface earlier this season.

Clay might also be Victor Troicki's favourite surface after winning a couple of titles at Challenger level on the surface last season on his return to the Tour following suspension. He was disappointingly beaten early in Monte Carlo by John Isner, but did record a couple of wins over Gimeno-Traver last season too which should give him more belief.

However, the last match was incredibly close because Troicki didn't serve as well as he might, while also being extremely poor on his break point chances and he will have to be better in both departments to win this one. However, I think Troicki has more about him and has been playing well enough to battle through with a 64, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Victor Troicki - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet365 (2 Units)

Monte Carlo Final: 11-11, - 0.06 Units (42 Units Staked, + 0% Yield)

Season 2015+ 37.07 Units (559 Units Staked, + 6.63% Yield)

Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Monte Carlo Tennis Picks 2015 (April 18th)

For the first time since the French Open Final last June, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will meet one another and this could be a big chance for the World Number 1 to underline his confidence going into the rest of the clay court season.

That is the second Semi Final on Saturday following Tomas Berdych's match against Gael Monfils as the in-form Frenchman looks to reach the Final.

Tomas Berdych v Gael Monfils: It has been a great week for Gael Monfils having beaten Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov without dropping a set, while he has been playing with a lot more aggression than we are perhaps used to him doing.

He will need to maintain that aggression if Monfils is going to beat Tomas Berdych who matches up very well with the Frenchman. Berdych has a big serve which can get him in a position to dictate the points against Monfils, while he is consistent enough off the ground to keep making the balls if Monfils decides to go on the defensive.

However, this hasn't been a great week in terms of performances for Berdych, even if he is well rested having not been pushed and virtually receiving a walkover to the Semi Final. Berdych has to play better than he has to this point this week if he is going to find a way past Monfils, but I do think the match up is one that works for him.

It might come down to which of these players can dictate tempo the best to determine the winner and we may have to go three sets to get it done, but I do think Tomas Berdych can reach the Final here with a slightly more consistent effort off the ground.

Novak Djokovic - 2.5 games v Rafael Nadal: For the first time, Novak Djokovic is favoured to beat Rafael Nadal on a clay court and you would have to agree with the assessment of the layers to have done that.

It has been a good week for Rafael Nadal as he finally beat a top ten player for the first time since the French Open when he defeated Novak Djokovic, but he hasn't won the tournament here at Monte Carlo in the last two years. This is essentially a home tournament for Djokovic and he has produced some very good tennis here in the past, but this week has been even more special as he has simply blitzed anyone who dares to go against him.

I do think it is unlikely that Djokovic is capable of doing that to Nadal because I think there is some pressure on him to perform too. He wants to show that he is capable of winning the French Open, which remains a huge goal for Djokovic, and beating Nadal on his favourite surface will give him that confidence boost.

David Ferrer showed the devastation a strong backhand down the line can cause against Nadal and that remains the favourite Djokovic shot in this match up. If he is hitting that well, I think Djokovic will hold the edge in the extended rallies, and he will take advantage of any times that Nadal fails to get his length right, which has been the case at times this week.

Nadal may already see this as a solid start to his clay court campaign, but his time in Monte Carlo is likely to end in a 64, 75 loss in my opinion.

MY PICKS: Tomas Berdych @ 1.92 Coral (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

Monte Carlo Update: 9-11, - 3.36 Units (38 Units Staked, - 8.84% Yield)

NBA Play Offs First Round Picks 2015 (April 18th-May 3rd)

I love when the NBA Play Offs begin as it means two months of competitive basketball that usually does provide plenty of drama and big moments.

I have ranked the last 16 teams remaining in order of their highest chance of winning it all in June down to those that might struggle to make it out of the First Round which can be read here.

Any time I make picks from the First Round of the Play Offs, I will add them to this post and hopefully the Play Offs will be a good period for the picks.

Saturday 18th April
Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors Pick: This is the First Round series where I am expecting the upset the most as I do think the Washington Wizards have gotten healthy at the right time of the season. They also have the experience of winning a First Round series from last season and a nice mix of veteran players with young talent that could take them into the Eastern Conference Semi Finals for the second year in a row.

Compare that to the Toronto Raptors who have a decent back court with both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan capable of taking over a game, but the injury concerns about Lowry has to put the brakes on this team. The Raptors have also been a little inconsistent down the stretch and that is another concern for them.

I was hoping the spread would be a couple of points higher in favour of Washington, especially as they had been swept by the Raptors in the regular season. The Wizards can go through patches in games where they really struggle offensively and that has to be a concern when the spread is as small as this one.

All the pressure is on Toronto to get things right in front of their own fans after losing in seven games in this Round last season and they have to play better than they have been recently. Games between these teams should be close over the next two weeks and I will take the points from this one.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Golden State Warriors Pick: There is a real difference between the regular season and the Play Offs, but good luck to any team that has to go into the Oracle Arena and try and steal one off of the Golden State Warriors.

It is why they are my favourites to win the NBA Championship and I think the New Orleans Pelicans will be in for a tough time in this first game. The Pelicans don't have a lot of Play Off experience and there might just be a lull in the performance having finally booked a place in the post-season on the final day of the regular season.

They can pick their poison with Golden State who are capable of pounding teams in the paint or from beyond the three point arc and I think the Pelicans are clutching at straws by trying to use 'scrimmaging' as a motivational tool. That is how Golden State described a game in New Orleans last week, but it was clearly not meant as disrespect and the Warriors should be too good for the Pelicans in the first game of the series.

Golden State have gone 10-1 against the spread this season when coming in with two days rest between games, another edge for them in the Play Offs you would think, and they have blasted teams at home. Double digit underdogs have also struggled in the Play Offs over the last twelve seasons and I like the Warriors to put a marker down on Saturday.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls Pick: This is likely to be the ugliest of the First Round match ups I think as both teams can be offensively challenged and the games in the regular season were far from inspiring.

Derrick Rose should be good to go for the Chicago Bulls which will make them a more dangerous team, but both of these teams rely on their strong defensive play to earn them the wins. The Bulls are definitely the better team, but they have been so uninspiring at times this season that not many will trust them.

Milwaukee have lost their way down the stretch too so there isn't a lot of confidence in them springing the surprise, but this can be a lot of points when you consider how both teams have played. However, a better option might be picking the game to produce fewer than 185 total points as Chicago have limited Milwaukee to an average of under 85 points per game this season, but have also averaged just 92 points per game in those contests.

Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets Pick: This could be a fast paced series with both teams looking to push the tempo where they can and the winner is likely to be the one which can get hot more consistently than the other.

The return of Dwight Howard could be huge for the Rockets as it will just open things up a little more for their players from the three point range, but James Harden has to bring his regular season form into the post-season.

Rick Carlisle can't be underestimated as the Head Coach of Dallas, a man who can find the right formula to surprise better teams, while the Mavericks are not terribly short of talent themselves. However, I think the Houston team is a little better and I like them to make a winning start by covering the spread in the first game of this First Round series.

Sunday 19th April
It was a 0.500 day for the picks on Saturday, but I have to say I feel that isn't down to 'bad picks', but 'bad luck'. The Golden State Warriors were up by 18 going into the Fourth Quarter but were outscored by 11 when they put their foot off the accelerator and New Orleans just hit everything.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls barely got over 185 points despite combining for 110 first half points and I would be surprised if they get anything like another half of Offense like we saw in Game 1. I would have been extremely mad if Washington had blown their big lead from the final five minutes of their game, but they came through in Overtime to steal home court, and Houston should really have won by a much bigger margin than their eventual 10 point win.

Hopefully the picks on Sunday have a little more luck behind them to get into the victory circle.

Boston Celtic @ Cleveland Cavaliers Pick: The last time LeBron James played a Play Off game for the Cleveland Cavaliers was against the Boston Celtics and his latest attempt to win a NBA Championship for a city shorn of success begins against that same franchise. There is a marked difference as to how the roster looks these days in Boston, but Head Coach Brad Stevens is one of the brightest young minds who is tasked with slowing down the favourites in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics will have some confidence having beaten Cleveland twice last week and also played them very close in another game, while they can believe in their depth to remain competitive. However, there is a clear talent difference between the starting fives and the Cavaliers have to show that their relative post-season inexperience won't be a factor in the coming two months.

You always have to admire a team like Boston that won't roll over for anyone, but I think this could be a statement game for Cleveland to set out a marker for the rest of the post-season. Double digit underdogs usually struggle in this Round too so backing the Cavaliers to cover a big number is my call.

Brooklyn Nets @ Atlanta Hawks Pick: The regular season was a sweep for the Atlanta Hawks and there is little doubt in my mind they are going to have too much scoring, consistency, defense and just about anything for the veteran Brooklyn Nets. This would be the biggest surprise of the Round, in my opinion at least, if the Nets were to beat the Number 1 Seed in the Eastern Conference.

Being swept in the regular season was one thing, but Brooklyn were humbled by the Atlanta Hawks in the first three games and then were beaten when the latter rested players too. That came while Brooklyn were fighting for their Play Off future and I think they will do well to get away with a gentleman's sweep in this one.

The first game is all about how Atlanta handle the nerves having come into the Play Offs with no pressure twelve months ago. This time they will be expected to get to the Eastern Conference Finals at least, but this match up looks a good one to get started with. It is another double digit spread in the Game 1's being played, but I do like the favourites to set their stall out in this one and I am backing Atlanta to cover the number.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Memphis Grizzlies Pick: Another team that swept the regular season series is expected to win Game 1 of this First Round series as the Memphis Grizzles host the Portland Trail Blazers.

Both teams have been hurt by injuries over the last couple of months, but Mike Conley and Tony Allen are expected to return for this game and that is a huge boost for Memphis. Allen's defensive ability is going to give Damian Lilliard something to think about, while Conley is another who has the speed to stick with him and can also give Lilliard lots to think about on the other side of the court.

The size that Memphis have in the front court means LaMarcus Aldridge has a difficult time earning his points and the loss of Wesley Matthews and Arron Afflalo are huge for Portland. Add in that Nicolas Batum is a doubt for this one and I think the Trail Blazers may have a hard time in this game and the series as the match up doesn't look the best one for them.

Games between the teams might be competitive because Memphis are known for their defensive play and that will always give Portland a chance to stay competitive, but I like the Grizzlies to cover in Game 1.

Monday 20th April
The biggest game on Sunday was between the LA Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs and it was surprising to see that the Clippers had won so comfortably in Game 1 of that series. San Antonio were sloppy Offensively and I expect Gregg Popovich to make the adjustments in Game 2 to bring the Spurs back into the series.

Cleveland, Atlanta and Portland all won their opening games which means only the Toronto Raptors have lost home court advantage in the First Round series after one game has been played. A lot of people will put faith in the zig-zag theory over the coming days, but I am not convinced that is a reasonable play as much as it used to be.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls Pick: The zig-zag theory would suggest backing the 'desperate' Milwaukee Bucks to cover the spread in the second game of this First Round series, but I like the Chicago Bulls to make it two from two in this game.

Derrick Rose was so strong in Game 1 and has a clear match up advantage against Michael Carter-Williams at the Point Guard position at both ends of the court. The Chicago Bulls also have a size advantage which has seen them control the glass in all three of their home wins over Milwaukee this season and each of those wins have come by at least eight points.

I am expecting Milwaukee to be a lot stronger defensively in this game, but am also expecting the same from the Bulls who have dominated the head to head between these teams. As long as Rose remains healthy, Chicago are a real threat in the Eastern Conference and should have too much scoring for Milwaukee in this second game and put themselves in a strong position in the First Round series.

New Orleans Pelicans @ Golden State Warriors Pick: It was only an incredible performance from Anthony Davis and some complacency in the Golden State Warriors team that prevented them from crushing the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 1. Instead, the Warriors were holding on a little towards the end of the game on Saturday, but were still handy winners.

The performance of the Pelicans in the Fourth Quarter has given them the belief that they can earn a surprise win in the series, especially by ripping home court from Golden State, but I am not convinced. On another day, Golden State would have won by 20 plus points and I am going to stick with them to be more dominant in Game 2 and win by double the margin they recorded in the first game.

Golden State are a team that had an incredible record at home through the regular season and I liked Andrew Bogut's comments that the team need to finish teams when they have them down. I will expect Steve Kerr can get a full performance from this team on Monday and I think they will be heading to New Orleans with a 2-0 lead, but this time I expect them to cover the double digit spread.

Tuesday 21st April
Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors Pick: The Washington Wizards have stolen home court advantage, but they must have had their hearts their mouths after blowing a big fourth quarter lead and requiring overtime to beat the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. There is a concern that Washington come out in this game with a care-free attitude having taken home court away from the Raptors, but they didn't allow that to slow them down last season in the series with the Chicago Bulls and I like the Wizards with the points again.

You have to think Toronto will be much better shooting the ball in Game 2 after DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams all struggled from the back court, but Washington may also be expecting more out of John Wall and Bradley Beal. The Wizards also have a real advantage attacking the glass and out rebounding Toronto for the second straight game will give them a very good chance of a second upset.

The Wizards aren't a great road underdog to back, but Toronto have struggled as a home favourite of less than 6 points as they are 5-11 against the spread in those games this season. All the pressure is on the Raptors too as they can't afford to fall into a 0-2 hole in this series and Toronto have a poor 3-10 record against the spread this season when trying to earn revenge as the home favourite.

The last three games between these teams have been very close with two of those games needing overtime to separate them and the five points given to Washington are too appealing to ignore.

Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets Pick: Both teams will feel there is room for improvement after Game 1, but the Dallas Mavericks might feel there is slightly more in their favour even though they were only beaten by 10 points. The first game was much more comfortable for Houston than that final margin may suggest, but I like Rick Carlisle as a Head Coach and I think he makes the adjustments to make this a much closer game.

There is no love lost between these teams with Mark Cuban firing some barbs at Houston prior to the series beginning, but none of that matters to the Mavericks who look to avoid a two game hole. That urgency coupled with Carlisle's smarts should give Dallas a better opportunity in this one, especially if they can keep tabs on James Harden as they did in the first game.

Dallas have to really get their own Offense going though and find more consistency from their role players, but there was enough out of Game 1 to think the adjustments can be made. Games between these rivals have been very competitive and another one could make the 5.5 point head start look a lot in favour of the Mavericks.

My concern is that Dallas have been poor as the road underdog this season and Houston are a strong home favourite, but this is Play Off time and I like the desperate Mavericks to come close to ripping home court advantage from the Rockets.

Wednesday 22nd April
Brooklyn Nets @ Atlanta Hawks Pick: Game 1 was never as close as it looked on the scoreboard, but the Atlanta Hawks might be missing Al Horford in this one after he dislocated a finger on his shooting hand. Horford's status is up in the air and Paul Millsap is still working his way back to form and that does mean the Brooklyn Nets might win the battle on the glass again, which was a real factor in them keeping things close when they met on Sunday.

It was a sloppy game from the Atlanta Hawks as they admitted themselves that they should have finished Brooklyn off when they had they had the chance, but the ball movement is critical to the Hawks success. The Nets have also been given some confidence from their performance in Game 1 after coming into the series with an inferior complex about their chances, but Brooklyn need to find more from their veteran roster.

The Hawks need to be more efficient with their looks if they are going to make this 2-0 but they do have the Indian Sign over Brooklyn this season. Atlanta have depth which should cover the absence of Horford if he sits or needs an extended rest between playing time, but I think the Hawks have gotten through Game 1 and can now relax into the Play Offs.

There will be bigger tests to come for Atlanta if they are to win it all, but I think they have the perfect match up and I expect them to cover in Game 2 to underline that.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Memphis Grizzlies Pick: If David Joerger was a little more sadistic, he would likely have kept his starters in a lot longer as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers for the fifth time this season, but importantly to take a 1-0 lead in this First Round series. Joerger called off the dogs in that game as the Grizzlies cruised to 14 point win, but it will all be for nought if the Grizzles can't make it 2-0 before heading to Oregon.

The match up looked a bad one for the Trail Blazers prior to the start of the series, but only got worse when Memphis announced all their players that were injury doubts returned. Those are some key names too as Mike Conley, Tony Allen and Jeff Green all played their part in the win and the pressure is on Portland to adjust.

Unfortunately they are unlikely to have Arron Afflalo back for this game and Wesley Matthews has already been lost for the season. Portland struggle against the size of the Memphis front court, although they did surprisingly win the battle on the glass, but the bigger question is what adjustments can they make to attack this Memphis Defensive unit.

Complacency is probably the biggest issue for the Memphis Grizzlies as Portland have struggled on the road all season and have matched up badly against them. You have to think the Trail Blazers make this more competitive than Game 1, but I still like the Grizzlies to cover.

San Antonio Spurs @ LA Clippers Pick: It is hard to imagine a situation where Gregg Popovich sees his San Antonio Spurs fall into a 2-0 hole in the First Round, but that is what they are facing going back to the Staples Center.

The LA Clippers blew out San Antonio in the first game thanks to a strong Offensive performance, but I think Popovich will make the adjustments to make his Spurs much more competitive. However, it is hard to ignore the fact that they have lost three in a row to the Clippers and the absence of Tiago Splitter is proving to be tough to replace.

Splitter had limited minutes in Game 1, but he might have more time on the court in this one as the main player the Spurs want to put on Blake Griffin. Kahwi Leonard may be matched up against Chris Paul to try and limit that avenue of Offense for the Clippers too and I am looking for San Antonio to make the adjustments to get back to Texas with a split in the series.

It won't be easy for them against a quality Head Coach like Doc Rivers guiding the Clippers, but I think San Antonio are better than they showed on Sunday and will take the points.

Thursday 23rd April
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics Pick: Before the series began, I suggested the Cleveland Cavaliers would complete a 'gentleman's sweep' of the Boston Celtics, but even that might be beyond the Celtics capabilities. Despite giving Cleveland a bit of a scare in both games of this First Round series, it is clear the Cavaliers have the talent differential to turn on the afterburners when they like and make sure they keep winning games.

LeBron James would have taken note of the easy in which other teams are coming through their First Round games and won't want Cleveland to have less time to rest any weary bodies, both mentally and physically.

As I said, Boston have given Cleveland a scare at times and got some runs together, especially off the bench, but Brad Stevens has to be concerned that it is the Cavaliers who have dominated the boards. If Boston can change that, they might have a chance to secure the upset, but Cleveland look like a team on a mission and they have too much consistent Offense for me.

You have to feel Boston are inspired at home, but I like Cleveland to pull to within one game of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.

Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks Pick: I have accepted a long time ago that the line makers in Vegas are anything but silly so I always take a step back when they offer a spread like this one which seems way out of wack compared to what we have seen in this series so far.

Both the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks pride themselves on their Defense, but the Bulls have more players that can take over a game on the Offensive side of the court. Derrick Rose didn't have a great Game 2, but Jimmy Butler has been a match up nightmare in both games and Jason Kidd will have needed all of the two days rest to try and figure out a way to slow him down.

Kidd will also need to find a way to get some consistency out of the Milwaukee Bucks Offensively as they continue to struggle against the Bulls who held them to under 85 points per game in the regular season. Milwaukee did have a huge Fourth Quarter to beat Chicago here in the regular season at the start of the month, but I think they will have a hard time again and will only win if the Bulls are complacent.

The layers are tempting me with the spread they have produced and I am going to bite- I think Chicago are the much stronger team at both ends of the court and I expect them to move to 3-0 in this First Round series.

Golden State Warriors @ New Orleans Pelicans Pick: The Golden State Warriors are 2-0 up in this First Round series, but they have failed to cover in both games, although I am going back to the well one more time as they travel to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans have been 'pesky' in the first two games, fighting back to make it look competitive in Game 1, and then taking a big lead in Game 2 that they couldn't hold onto. They are getting close to drinking in the last chance saloon so the question is whether they can find the right balance to knock the Warriors off their stride.

New Orleans have a very strong 8-2 record against the spread when set as the home underdog given 6 points or less so they have every chance of keeping this competitive if they have taken some motivation from being a home underdog. However, the Warriors do look a little too good for them on both sides of the court and I don't know if the Pelicans have enough to bridge the gap between the two teams.

It has been a bit closer than the Golden State Warriors would have liked in the first two games, but they have still won with a bit to spare and I'll back a third favourite to come through.

Friday 24th April
Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks Pick: It was only a matter of time that the relationship between Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo would break down irretrievably- these two have never been on the same page and the Dallas Mavericks attempt to push themselves as a serious contender in the Western Conference has failed to materialise.

Rondo has been ruled out for the rest of the post-season and Carlisle has said he doesn't think he'll ever suit up in a Dallas jersey again. The bigger issue may be the injury to Chandler Parsons that has ruled him out, although Devin Harris might be back for this Game 3 that Dallas have to win to make this a series.

Houston will make the relatively short trip to Dallas with plenty of confidence having 'held serve' by winning both home games. It was a big Fourth Quarter from Josh Smith and Dwight Howard that sparked Houston in Game 2 and they won't have any fears of trying to get the series done over the next few days on the road.

It is hard to guess how Dallas respond to the Rondo issue, but I am surprised they are set as the narrow favourite in this one. However, instead of backing Houston with the points, I am going to back this game to end under the total points which look on the high side. The under is 5-1 in the last six games between these inter-State rivals, and I think Dallas have been shorn of some of the swagger in the last couple of games and will need to tighten down on Defense if they are to get back into the series.

Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards Pick: This was the series that I believed had the highest chance of a lower Seeded team surprisingly moving into the Conference Semi Finals and the Washington Wizards are proving the point with two road wins to open a 2-0 lead. However, the Wizards are not a team that handles expectation that well and there will be plenty of fans coming to the Arena on Friday expecting to see Washington move 3-0 ahead.

The right noises are also coming out of the Toronto locker room as they head down to Washington with the belief not quite lost despite the consecutive home losses. Injuries are slowing down some of the players, but Toronto still need more from the back court if they are to get back into this.

The Washington Offense is inconsistent itself though and the Raptors have to find a way to stop them winning the battle on the boards which has offered up second chance points. Unfortunately for Toronto, they don't really have the size to do that consistently and have to better from the field to challenge what is a decent Washington Defense.

This was a series in which I wanted to stick with the underdog for much of it and I am interested to see how Washington handle the pressure of being the favourite. That is a marked difference than being the underdog and I will back the Raptors with the points against a Wizards team which is just 5-9 against the spread when favoured by 6 points or fewer at home this season.

LA Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs Pick: The San Antonio Spurs stole home court advantage in Game 2 and the LA Clippers have to be kicking themselves for some critical turnovers in the final minute of regulation which would have given them the chance to wrap up a two game home winning run.

The depth is clearly the biggest issue that the Clippers have to deal with as their bench has just not played well enough, but the starting five have been asked to play big minutes. With just two days between games, I do wonder if that will have an impact on the Clippers as they go to San Antonio for two games in three days.

However, they might have caught a break with Tony Parker suffering an injury to the achilles to join his knee issues and his effectiveness is in question even if he starts. Parker has struggled to cope with Chris Paul and missing extended time on the court will be an issue for the Spurs, although Patty Mills showed he is capable of putting on a show in the limited time he played.

Tim Duncan had a huge game for the Spurs, but it will be tough for him to replicate those numbers. I do think the LA Clippers actually match up well with San Antonio and I like getting the points in this one as they try and recover home court advantage.

Sunday 26th April
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics Pick: The hardest game to put away in a series can be the one to progress to the next Round and that is the situation Cleveland will be coming into at the TD Garden on Sunday.

However, I do think the talent differential is asking a lot of the Boston Celtics to make up, especially if Isaiah Thomas can be kept in check as he was in Game 3. Don't get me wrong, Boston haven't been blown out by the Cavaliers in any of the games they have played, but they've been kept at a comfortable distance once the the Cleveland 'Big Three' have taken over the game.

It is a big spread to cover, but Cleveland will know they can get a few more days rest than the Chicago Bulls who have been forced into a Game 5, and I like someone from the Cavaliers roster to have a big enough game to cover the number. 

LA Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs Pick: I can't imagine the LA Clippers are going to be as bad as they were in Game 3 and I expect Doc Rivers is smart enough to make the right adjustments in this one.

However, my concern for the Clippers is still about whether they have enough depth to cope with San Antonio, although the starters will be well rested for this game. Game 3 was an easy win for the Spurs, but the Clippers have found a way to negate them all season and I will look for them to make the adjustments to make this game a lot closer.

Backing Los Angeles with the points seems reasonable enough to me.

Monday 27th April
Atlanta Hawks @ Brooklyn Nets Pick: The Atlanta Hawks have not looked like the team that finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference in any of their three games against the Brooklyn Nets and have allowed the Number 8 Seed to get back into the series. The Hawks have allowed Brooklyn to hang around and some are even suggesting that they might be ripe for the upset in this First Round series.

I am not one of those though and I don't think they are that far away from finding the Offensive groove that has been missing at times. As bad as they played in Game 3, Atlanta were still close to moving 3-0 up in the series and I really don't think Brooklyn are ever that far away from really falling away.

Atlanta have to help give them a push in that direction, while Deron Williams might also be absent for Brooklyn, and I think the Hawks will find a way to get back to basics and move the ball around to open shots on the Offensive side of the court. If they can do that, they will be 3-1 up when heading home for Game 5 and I like the Hawks to cover the four point spread.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls Pick: You can accuse the Chicago Bulls of some complacency in the last couple of games on the road, but I think the bigger picture has to be the impressive performances from a young Milwaukee Bucks team. However, the Bulls shot themselves in the foot in Game 4 with a ridiculous amount of turnovers and cleaning that up will set them up for the Eastern Conference Semi Final series with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Bulls have handled their business at home against Milwaukee with both wins coming by double digits and I think the Bucks have to really pick themselves up from two emotional games. The win will give them confidence they can play against the Chicago Bulls, but it took a huge amount of turnovers for them to find a way to make that close before the late mistake by Derrick Rose allowed a buzzer beating lay up to be converted.

It is the turnovers that Chicago had in Game 4 that is hard to expect Milwaukee to replicate and they weren't consistent enough Offensively without those to win that game. It is a lot of points for the Bulls to cover in Game 5, and they are a poor home favourite to back, but Chicago match up very well against Milwaukee and should have too much as long as they remain focused and look after the ball.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Portland Trail Blazers Pick: I have picked the Memphis Grizzlies in all three games against the Portland Trail Blazers in the First Round series, but I think the loss of Mike Conley for Game 4 could give the Trail Blazers a chance to at least extend the series. Conley was banged up in Game 3 which is going to keep him out of this one as he returns to Memphis, while Beno Udrih is also likely to miss out as the back up Point Guard.

That could mean that Damian Lilliard finds a little more room after showing signs of life in Game 3 and Portland might be able to steal a game and prolong the series.

As good as Memphis are, being without the driving force behind the Offense is a tough position to be in and Portland are going to be desperate. The Trail Blazers have really struggled to match up with the Memphis Grizzlies all season and home court isn't a big advantage for them, but the absence of Conley and Udrih does seem to land in their favour.

The Golden State Warriors might already be waiting for the winner of the series, but Memphis might have to wait until they get back to the Grindhouse to move into the Western Conference Semi Finals.

Tuesday 28th April
I am away for a few days so only adding picks from the games left in the First Round of the Play Offs which can be found below.

Wednesday 29th April
Bit disappointing to go one out of two yesterday, especially as it looked like the LA Clippers might have come away with a win in Game 5 of their series with the San Antonio Spurs. Picks from Wednesday night games are below as I continue to enjoy the sights and sounds of Florence, Italy.

Thursday 30th April
I've moved on to Bologna now from Florence, but still have a couple of moments to put up the picks from the two First Round NBA Play Off games to be played today which can be found below.

Saturday 2nd May
San Antonio Spurs @ LA Clippers Pick: The only First Round Play Off series that has gone to Game 7 is the one that most would have tipped to do that as the San Antonio Spurs travel to the LA Clippers. Most of the attention is going to be on the 'Fight of the Century', but this game should have been completed before the two boxers get to the ring, although I am guessing viewing figures will be down.

It is still a huge game with the winner very capable of going all the way to the NBA Championship and one that is incredibly tough to call. The San Antonio Spurs have to respond after being described as 'soft' by Gregg Popovich and the defending Champions saw their starters struggle badly in Game 6.

However, the LA Clippers have continued to show that they don't have the depth to put away the Spurs and now could be missing Glen Davis which could be huge if DeAndre Jordan has to be taken out of the game because of 'Hack-A-Jordan' strategies that San Antonio have used.

Both teams have had big shooting nights, but San Antonio struggled in that regard in Game 6. I don't think that happens here and I will look for the game to go over the total points.

MY PICKS: 18/04 Washington Wizards + 4 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
18/04 Golden State Warriors - 12 Points @ 1.95 Boyle Sports (1 Unit)
18/04 Chicago Bulls-Milwaukee Bucks Under 185 Total Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
18/04 Houston Rockets - 4.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
19/04 Cleveland Cavaliers - 11.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
19/04 Atlanta Hawks - 10.5 Points @ 2.00 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
19/04 Memphis Grizzlies - 5 Points @ 1.95 Coral (1 Unit)
20/04 Chicago Bulls - 7.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
20/04 Golden State Warriors - 11.5 Points Bet Fred (1 Unit)
21/04 Washington Wizards + 5 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
21/04 Dallas Mavericks + 5.5 Points @ 2.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
22/04 Atlanta Hawks - 9.5 Points @ 1.93 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
22/04 Memphis Grizzlies - 6 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
22/04 San Antonio Spurs + 1.5 Points @ 1.92 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
23/04 Cleveland Cavaliers - 5 Points @ 2.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
23/04 Chicago Bulls - 2.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
23/04 Golden State Warriors - 5 Points @ 1.95 Boyle Sports (1 Unit)
24/04 Dallas Mavericks-Houston Rockets Under 214.5 Total Points @ 1.95 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
24/04 Toronto Raptors + 4 Points @ 2.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
24/04 LA Clippers + 4 Points @ 1.95 Coral (1 Unit)
26/04 Cleveland Cavaliers - 7 Points @ 1.92 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
26/04 LA Clippers + 6 Points @ 1.95 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
27/04 Atlanta Hawks - 4 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
27/04 Chicago Bulls - 8.5 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
27/04 Portland Trail Blazers - 3 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
28/04 Houston Rockets - 7.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
28/04 LA Clippers - 2 Points 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
29/04 Atlanta Hawks-Brooklyn Nets Over 200 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
29/04 Memphis Grizzlies - 5.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
30/04 Chicago Bulls - 3.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
30/04 San Antonio Spurs-LA Clippers Over 205.5 Total Points @ 1.92 Coral (1 Unit)
02/05 LA Clippers-San Antonio Spurs Over 203.5 Total Points @ 1.93 Bet Victor (1 Unit)

First Round Update: 18-14, + 2.73 Units

April Final12-11-2, + 0.32 Units
March Final14-15-3, - 2.01 Units
February Final11-16-1, - 5.70 Units
January Final18-10, + 6.67 Units
December Final3-6, - 3.31 Units
November Final14-11, + 1.70 Units
October Final2-4, - 2 Units
Season 201574-73-5, - 4.32 Units

Final Season 201458-72-1, - 16.86 Units
Final Season 2013105-93-3, + 10.49 Units
Final Season 201279-53-1, + 27.48 Units