BlackJack’s Favorite Plays of the Day: Why I’m High on the Motivated Golden Knights
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
We are on the precipice, my friends. We are about to jump head first into the crevasse that is MLB Opening Day and the Final Four. The NBA and NHL Playoffs are around the corner, and the NFL Draft is within sight. There is no such thing as an offseason. Not in sports. Not in life. Not for this team, brothers. No, we are a 365-day-a-year team. Sundays? We’re busy working. Christmas? Enjoy your gifts; we’ll be occupied with winning. Earth Day? Happy Birthday, Mother Earth, now let me go cash this ticket. That’s how you keep building, and that is how winning is done. Today is certainly no exception, so let’s get after it, baby.
Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz (-8.5)
The Celtics are still very banged up, which is definitely concerning for them as they approach the playoffs. The Jazz are playing some excellent basketball, going 8-2 in their past 10. The important thing about this matchup to note is that these are two of the top-eight defenses in the NBA. While the Celtics’ injuries have hampered their scoring, their defensive intensity is still very much present. The Jazz play smothering defense, particularly in Salt Lake City. This game is in Utah in the altitude, which also typically ensures a slower pace. With two defensive-oriented teams in this spot, I’m looking squarely at the under.
THE PICK: Under 194.5
University of San Francisco at University of North Texas (-3)
This is the second game in the best-of-three championship series in the CBI. USF dominated the first matchup in San Francisco, ultimately winning by 10. I would expect a stronger effort from the more athletic North Texas team at home in the “Super Pit.” Whichever side winds up victorious, I’m more interested in the total here. Neither team is a high-flying offensive powerhouse. The total may be a little inflated because UNT scored a lot earlier in this tournament, but that was against inferior competition. This is a game they have to win, and I expect points to be at a bit of a premium.
THE PICK: Under 143
Arizona Coyotes at Vegas Golden Knights (-227)
Antti Raanta has been playing excellent in goal for the Coyotes of late, and, to be perfectly honest, Arizona has played well lately. They’re 5-5 in their past 10, which is a considerable improvement from earlier in the season when they were one of the worst teams in hockey, if not the very worst. The win against Tampa was impressive, but some of their other wins have come against suspect competition lately. I’m also looking at a Vegas team that has a date with San Jose coming down the road and knows they need as many points as possible to secure the Pacific Division. The Knights are also playing to try and secure the second spot in the Western Conference from the Jets, who just continue to win. If Vegas has to go on the road to Winnipeg and Nashville, the road to the cup gets much more difficult. The Vegas offense can be incredibly explosive, and I’m counting on a few tonight.
THE PICK: Vegas Puck Line (+125)
Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports