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Stephen Nover Stephen Nover

I have had only two losing season in pro football in my handicapping career. I have the best sources in the business thanks to more than 25 years as a sportswriter, handicapper and analyst.

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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 20, 2019
Bucks vs Pistons
OVER 216 -109 Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
The Pistons haven't been able to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 25 points during the first two games of this series. Milwaukee has scored 121 and 120 points, respectively, in the series. The Bucks are the No. 1 scoring team in the NBA. Detroit doesn't have the defense to stop them. The Over has cashed in eight of the Bucks' last 11 road contests.  So the Pistons need to ratch up their offense, which they can do at home. Detroit is due to shoot much better than the 37.7 percent it is averaging from the field. It's a plus for the Pistons and the Over if Blake Griffin is able to play. He's questionable. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 20, 2019
Jets vs Blues
UNDER 5½ -125 Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
The Blues win with defense. They know if they are going to clinch this first-round series they can't get into a wide open skating match with the Jets.  The Jets defeated the Blues, 6-3, in Game 3 at St. Louis. That game, though, appears to be an outlier. If you discount that performance, the Jets are averaging 1.2 goals in regulation during the four other games in the series.  Winnipeg has scored just once in its last nine power play attempts spanning the past three games. The Jets also could be without their fourth-leading goal scorer, Nikolaj Ehlers. He's questionable.  The Blues are averaging only 2.3 goals in their last three games. St. Louis' calling card is its fifth-ranked defense and goalie Jordan Binnington. 
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 20, 2019
Blue Jays vs A's
A's
-135 at betonline
Lost
$135.0
Play Type: Premium
I want the A's going for me in a bounce back spot. The Blue Jays knocked off Oakland, 5-1, Friday night. It was Toronto's first victory against the A's after losing all seven games to them last season. It also was a pitching matchup of Marcus Stroman versus Aaron Brooks, who shouldn't be in a big league rotation.  Now the pitching matchup is righty Matt Shoemaker versus righthander Mike Fiers.  Fiers is an ace when pitching in spacious Oakland Coliseum. He is 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last 10 home starts. He hasn't been scored on in his last two home starts this season spanning 12 innings. Oakland is 8-1 (89 percent) in Fiers' last nine home starts.  Toronto is 3-8 in its last 11 games against a righty starter. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 20, 2019
Nuggets vs Spurs
Spurs
-3½ -109 at pinnacle
Lost
$109.0
Play Type: Top Premium
The Nuggets haven't won in San Antonio in more than seven years, losing 14 straight times to the Spurs on the road. I don't see that changing here in Game 4 of their playoff series.  The Spurs should be up 3-0 instead of 2-1, but blew a 19-point lead midway through the third quarter in Game 2. They are the clear better team and they have a strong home-court history.  Second-year guard Derrick White has stepped up big-time for San Antonio giving the Spurs three major weapons along with DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs have those players going for them along with a huge gap in playoff experience. While the Nuggets are involved in their first postseason experience since 2013, the Spurs are in the playoffs for the 22nd straight season.  
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 20, 2019
Diamondbacks vs Cubs
Cubs
-130 at 5Dimes
Lost
$130.0
Play Type: Premium
Here comes the Cubs. Chicago has won four in a row and six of its last seven. They are worth riding playing their best ball now.  The buy sign is on for Yu Darvish, too, after he fanned eight in 5 2/3 innings during his last start, a 7-2 victory against the Marlins. Arizona is averaging just 2.6 runs in its last three games.  Zach Greinke isn't the elite pitcher of past seasons. Greinke is still above average - but not when he pitches at Wrigley Field. Greinke has never won at Wrigley in five career starts and has an 8.31 ERA when pitching there. The Cubs have won 30 of the past 44 times at home when facing a righty starter. 
PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 21, 2019
Raptors vs Magic
UNDER 207 -104
Play Type: Premium
The evidence is crystal clear. These teams have played three games so far in their first-round playoff series and the Under has won each time. The combined average score in these three games is 196.3 points.  The Raptors have forced 44 Orlando turnovers and held the Magic to 37.8 percent shooting from the floor.  Orlando is going to be at its most intense for this matchup. The Magic ranked fifth defensively during the regular season. So a strong defensive battle should ensue helped by both teams favoring a slow tempo.  The Under has cashed the past seven times the Raptors have played in Orlando. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 21, 2019
Raptors vs Magic
Magic
+5½ -105 at pinnacle
Play Type: Premium
I like the Magic in an underdog role especially going against foes with a winning record. Orlando is 16-5-1 ATS the past 22 times when taking on an above .500 opponent. I see the Magic giving it their best shot not wanting to go into Toronto down 3-1. The Magic lost 98-93 to the Raptors this past Friday. That was their first home playoff game in seven years. The Magic should be less tight now.  Orlando needs Nikola Vucevic to step up. He got going in Game 3 after being kept in check the first two games of the series.  Toronto is 2-6-1 ATS the past nine times against Orlando.
 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 21, 2019
Bruins vs Maple Leafs
OVER 5½ -115 Won
$100
Play Type: Premium
Toronto is improved defensively, but the Maple Leafs still win with their skating and explosiveness. I envision a more wide open game in this Game 6 now that the Maple Leafs are back in Toronto.  Boston is going to have open things up after losing 2-1 at home in Game 5. The Bruins have the offensive talent and top line to do that. There could be plenty of late scoring, too, if the Bruins find themselves down a goal with their playoff lives at stake.  The Over has cashed in six of the Bruins' last eight games. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 21, 2019
Bruins vs Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs
-113 at betonline
Lost
$113.0
Play Type: Premium
The Maple Leafs have the coaching, momentum and now the playoff experience to come through with a playoff series-ending victory against the Bruins.  Boston got past Toronto in seven games during the playoffs last season. The Maple Leafs are just as explosive, but now are more well-rounded and playoff tested. Mike Babcock is a tremendous coach. It's the Maple Leafs' time to take that next step.  The Bruins have lost in eight of their last 11 visits to Toronto. They don't have the Maple Leafs' explosiveness and are reeling from their controversial Game 5 home loss. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 21, 2019
Sharks vs Golden Knights
OVER 6 -114
Play Type: Top Premium
The oddsmaker is short on this total. The Sharks and Golden Knights are good for at least three goals apiece.  San Jose has scored three or more goals in four of the five games in this playoff series. Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't been his usual sharp self down the stretch. He's surrendered at least three goals in four of the five games.  Las Vegas has scored 11 goals in the two games played at T-Mobile Arena during the series. San Jose has permitted five or more goals in three of the five games in the series. Martin Jones is the shakiest goalie in the playoffs.  The Sharks have two of the top offensive-minded defensemen in the NHL with Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. Las Vegas has two red-hot scoring lines with Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson and Mark Stone, Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty on the second line. The additions of Stone and Pacioretty have made the Golden Knights a more dangerous scoring team.  These factors have helped the Over cash six of the last seven times the two teams have met.  Both teams should have plenty of energy, too, as they have had two days in between games instead of the normal one.   
SERVICE BIO

Sports gaming writer for Las Vegas Review-Journal 1984-1997. Professional handicapper since 1999. Author of three books - Las Vegas Sportsbeat, Sportsgaming Beat, Winning Fantasy Football. Taught sports betting at UNLV. Former co-host of the Sunday Night Stardust Line sports gaming radio show. Was part-time oddsmaker and analyst for Roxy Roxborough. Recognized NFL expert with 21 of 23 winning seasons.