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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
MLB  |  May 18, 2019
Giants vs Diamondbacks
Giants
-106 at sportsbook
Won
$100
Play Type: Premium

The Diamondbacks are pitching Zack today. The wrong Zach. It's Zack Godley getting the start not Zack Greinke. That puts me in action with this matchup because Madison Bumgarner goes for San Francisco with a price that is right to back the superior pitcher. 

 The Giants are 9-2 the past 11 times Bumgarner has faced Arizona at Chase Field. The Giants lost a rough 7-0 game to the Diamondbacks on Friday. Bruce Bochy was tossed during the game. So the Giants won't be mailing this one in. They are 6-2 the past eight times following a loss.  Bumgarner is in solid form with a 3.50 ERA and a 23-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last three starts. Bumgarner has a lifetime 2.43 ERA against the Diamondbacks spanning 33 outings, including 32 starts. He has a 2.81 career ERA at Chase Field.  Injuries have forced Godley into Arizona's starting rotation - at least for this game. He is struggling with a 7.65 ERA in 10 games, including seven starts. Arizona is 1-6 in Godley's last seven home starts. Godley has a 6.68 career ERA versus the Giants in eight appearances, including six starts.
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  May 18, 2019
Warriors vs Blazers
Blazers
-127 at pinnacle
Lost
$127.0
Play Type: Top Premium
Normally I would have a hard time laying points with the inferior team. But this is the Trail Blazers' game to win - and I see them getting the job down here at home in this Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals being down 2-0.  Portland showed it can outplay the Warriors. The Trail Blazers should have won Game 2 at Golden State, but blew a 17-point second half lead in losing, 114-111.  The Trail Blazers have proven resilient all season especially in the postseason. They took out the Thunder in the first round after being swept by Oklahoma City during the regular season. Then they came back from a 3-2 series deficit to eliminate the Nuggets winning Game 7 in Denver.  Portland's Terry Stotts is a very underrated coach. I like the adjustments he made from Game 1 to Game 2 in this series, including tighting up the Trail Blazers' pick-and-roll defense, putting Moe Harkless on Stephen Curry and freeing up CJ McCollum for better looks on his jumpers.  If McCollum and Damian Lillard had even their normal shooting games the Trail Blazers likely win Game 2. The All-Star backcourt tandem, though, shot a combined 15-of-39 (38.4 percent) from the field. The pair missed 10 of their 12 fourth-quarter field goals.  Those two are due to shoot much better. Portland shouldn't fold up either with the switch in venues to their home-court. Certainly the Trail Blazers won't lack intensity down 2-0 while the Warriors have to be feeling fat and happy. Not having Kevin Durant is going to catch up to the Warriors. 
 
PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  May 19, 2019
Giants vs Diamondbacks
Diamondbacks
-1½ +125 at pinnacle
Play Type: Top Premium

The Diamondbacks' last three victories have been by an average of eight runs. I like Arizona to beat the Giants, enough to lay the run line to get a plus price instead of risk laying heavy juice. 

 Drew Pomeranz is coming off the injured list to start for the Giants. Pomeranz has been highly inconsistent and isn't likely to go deep into the game, which would put the Giants' vulnerable middle relievers into action.  Lefty Robbie Ray is in great form for the Diamondbacks with a 3-0 mark and 1.98 ERA in his past five starts. His ERA is 1.10 during his last three starts. Arizona is 5-2 versus the Giants in Ray's past seven starts against San Francisco.  The Giants are 5-9 versus lefty starters this season. Word is the Giants will be resting Buster Posey and Brandon Belt. Brandon Crawford may also sit out.  San Francisco has won just 33 percent of its past 43 road games. 
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  May 19, 2019
Blues vs Sharks
OVER 5½ -104 Lost
$104.0
Play Type: Premium
This has been a back-and-forth series as expected. That can apply to the total, too. The teams are returning to San Jose here for Game 5. The first two games of the series were at San Jose. There were nine goals scored in Game 1 and six goals scored in Game 2. That's the norm as 68 percent of the Sharks' past 19 games have resulted in six or more goals being produced.  The Sharks are constantly in attack mode. They maybe have the two most offensive-minded blueliners in Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson.  St. Louis is known for its defense and goaltending. The Blues' offense production, though, is underrated. St. Louis is averaging 3.3 goals in its last games. The Blues have scored at least three goals in 75 percent of their last 28 games. 
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.