Streak for the Cash Picks, April 7 Picks and Analysis

In one of today’s many Streak for the Cash picks, the New York Knicks head to Oklahoma City led by small forward Carmelo Anthony to take on the Thunder. They’re definitely the underdog even though they’re looking for their 12th win in a row. Find my free picks for that game and many others in this post. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Sunday serves as a recovery day for the Final Four, a conclusion to the Valero Texas open, a final day of weekend series in the MLB, a heat-check game for the Knicks, and a great chance to extend your run in ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. There’s picks on the board from all those events as well as the NASCAR race, the WTA Faniliy Cup Final, NCAA Women’s Softball, EPL and MLS soccer, the Women’s Final Four, and the NHL. There’s plenty of options, but I’m running short on time today. As a result the analysis will be brief, but here’s the picks I’ll be watching today:

4/7 Streak Picks

9:05- Tottenham Hotspur win: The Spurs are third in the EPL table coming into play today with an impressive 8-4-3 record at home. Everton sits sixth, just out of European play as they come in with a 4-6-4 road record. Tottenham has won two of their last three at home and knocked off Swansea City in their last EPL match. Everton has won their last three EPL matches, but they were all at home. They dropped their last two on the road to Norwich City and Man United. Gareth Bale is playing extremely well, and Everton will be a bit shorthanded due to injuries and suspension, so I think the Spurs get the win at White Hart Lane. Confidence Meter: 4 1/2 (out of 10)

Apr 5, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) makes a glove save during the third period at the Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Blue Jackets 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

12:30- St. Louis Blues: The Blues are coming off impressive back-to-back wins on Thursday and Friday over Columbus and Chicago as they look to get into the Western Conference playoffs. They’ll get another great chance to help their cause as they face the Red Wings who are a single point ahead of them tomorrow  in the NBC-featured game. The two sides have met four times this year with the Blues winning the first and most recent of those games including a 4-3 overtime win in Joe Louis Arena where they’ll play today. St. Louis is 11-7-1 on the road this year and catch the Wings coming home after a 2-3 stretch in which they edged Colorado twice and got hammered 7-1 by the same Blackhawks team that the Blues just beat. This won’t be that kind of route, but I do think the Blues get the green. Confidence Meter: 5

12:35- Billy Horschel or Jim Furyk: I thought this prop would be Horschel against the field and was debating which direction to go in my head until I saw the actual prop. Billy Horschel has been great in two weeks in Texas and is looking to claim his first PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open this week. The former Florida Gator is two strokes clear of the field and the way he’s played I’d probably take him to win although not with much confidence. Furyk is one of the two players two strokes back tied with Charley Hoffman. No one else is within four strokes of the lead, so in this prop you’re getting two of the three favorites to win. The one name on the leaderboard that is drawing people to AOR is Rory McIlory who is tied for fourth at -6. I think Horschel wins, but even if he doesn’t Furyk is the second most likely making this a fairly strong pick. Confidence Meter: 7

1:05- Knicks 3-Pointers Made: New York puts there 11-game winning streak on the line as they take on the Thunder tonight in Oklahoma City. OKC is favored by eight and beat New York by one at the Garden in their earlier meeting. I’m not sure I’d take the Knicks to win straight-up, but I do think they’ll keep this close enough to cover this spread. Confidence Meter: 5

Apr 5, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Boston Red Sox left fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (44) is tagged out by Toronto Blue Jays cacther J.P. Arencibia (9) in the ninth inning at Rogers Centre. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

1:07- Boston Red Sox: The Sox send Jon Lester to the hill to try and win their series with the new-look Blue Jays. Toronto will counter with one of their new acquisitions from this past offseason, R.A. Dickey. Lester was solid in earning his first win of the season against the Yankees on Opening Day while Dickey struggled in a loss to the Indians in Toronto. The Blue Jays are expected to get Jose Bautista back, and they handled Lester last season, but this Red Sox team has started the year well, and I think they’ll finish this opening trip with a win before heading home for their Fenway opener on Monday. Confidence Meter: 3

1:10- 19 Games or Fewer: Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic meet in the final of the WTA event in Charleston. Serena has been rolling through the tournament never playing more than 17 games. She dispatched her sister 6-1, 6-2 in the last round while Jankovic needed three sets to dispatch Stefani Voegele 6-4, 6-7, 6-1. The last time these two met, Williams rolled 6-3, 6-1 at Wimbledon. This is on a different surface though-clay-where Jankovic defeated Serena in Rome. However, that was all the way back in 2010, and Serena’s in great form so I think she’ll cruise to the win here 6-3, 6-2. Confidence Meter: 5

1:35- Kansas City Royals: The Royals and Phillies have their Opening Day starters on the hill this afternoon as they look to take the rubber game after the Phillies rallied in the ninth to win on Saturday. James Shields gets his second start as a Royal while the Phillies turn to Cole Hamels hoping for a better result than when he opened their season against the Braves. Hamels gave up five runs in five innings taking the loss while Shields took the loss as well but only allowed one run in six innings. The Phillies lineup doesn’t inspire much confidence, while Kansas City has scored some runs even though they’ve opened 2-3. Both teams look to reach .500 with a win today, and I think it’ll be the Royals on the road that get to 3-3 while the Phillies drop to 2-4. Confidence Meter: 4

2:10- Arizona Diamondbacks: The Snakes go for the sweep of the Brewers after dominating the first two games by an aggregate score of 12-3. They’ll have their ace on the hill to seal the deal as Ian Kennedy looks to build on his strong start to the season. He allowed just two runs in seven innings while getting the win against St. Louis. Kennedy is 2-3 in seven career starts against the Brewers but won’t have to contend with Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, or Ryan Braun who are al expected to miss this game due to injury. Opposing him is Yovani Gallardo who gave up three runs in five innings in the opener against Colorado but ultimately didn’t figure in the decision. He’s dominated Arizona in the past, but this D-Backs team is hitting the ball well right now and I think they’ll complete the sweep in Milwaukee today. Confidence Meter: 6

3:35- LA Clippers: The Clippers have won all three battles for LA this season and can wrap up the Pacific Division title if they complete the series sweep today. The Lakers are fighting for their playoff lives and have battled back into the eighth spot in the West. They’ve won their last three and 13 of their last 15 at home (although they’re officially the road team in this game which is still in their building). The Clippers had lost three in a row before trouncing the Suns in their last game, but I still think they get the win in this one. The Clippers are just a bad matchup for the Lakers who struggle to defend Chris Paul and the Clippers athletic big men. This game means a lot to both sides, but I think the Clippers are just flat-out the better team in this matchup. Confidence Meter: 5

 

Mar 30, 2013; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles (31) is upended by Philadelphia Union forward Conor Casey (6) during the second half of an MLS game at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

5:05- New York Red Bulls win or draw: The Red Bulls travel to Chicago where the Fire have started the season 0-1-3 earning their only draw at KC. At home the Fire have lost to New England 1-0 and to Chivas in their most recent game 4-1. New York is 1-2-2 and got their first win last week at home as they knocked off Philadelphia. The Red Bulls should be able to earn at least a draw as they face the Fire. Confidence Meter: 4

6:35- California Golden Bears: In the first Women’s Final Four game, the Louisville ladies will try to join their men’s team in the final of their respective tournaments. Don’t overall Cal though, who rallied to beat Georgia in the Elite Eight. The Golden Bears should be able to dominate the boards, and I think the Cards cool off a bit after shooting so well to this point in the tournament. Confidence Meter: 3

7:30- Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres and Devils meet tonight as the two teams trend in opposite directions. The Sabres have won their last two in convincing fashion over good opponents and are 5-2-2 over their last nine. The Devils, on the other hand, have lost six in a row and are just 2-5-4 in their last 11. They haven’t won since losing Ilya Kovalchuk who will miss this game as well. Both previous meetings this season have been won by the home team in shootout, but Ryan Miller is 5-2-1 with a 1.58 GAA in his last eight career starts against New Jersey so I think the Sabres get the win tonight against the quickly descending Devils. Confidence Meter: 6

8:05- Los Angeles Angels: The AL West is expected to come down to the Angels and Rangers slugging it out down the stretch. They’ve gotten their rivalry off to a good start this weekend splitting the first two games of this series. Tonight they’ll each have their aces on the mound as Jered Weaver goes for LA and Texas counters with Yu Darvish. Last season against the Rangers, Weaver was 4-1 with a 4.70 ERA (inflated by a horrible outing in Texas last May). Darvish started six games against the Angels with a 3-1 record and a 4.23 ERA. Darvish is coming off the best start of his MLB career as he came within an out of a perfect game in his first start of the season against Houston. He did throw 111 pitches in that game while Weaver threw just 95 in six innings against Cincinnati allowing two hits and one run. Most expect a pitching duel, but ultimately I see the Angels lineup which is starting to come alive making the difference and getting LA the series win against the Rangers. Expect plenty of Josh Hamilton drama as the series comes to a close. Confidence Meter: 4

Mar 12, 2013; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Stefanie Dolson (31) reacts to a basket against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first half during the championship game of the Big East tournament at the XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

9:00- Connecticut: Notre Dame and UCONN meet in the Women’s Final Four for the fourth time this season. Skyler Diggins and the Irish appear set for the title with Baylor bounced early, but UConn has played them tight and beating your chief rival four times in a season is tough. I think the difference-maker here is Breanna Stewart who has stepped up her game throughout the tournament. The Huskies are playing better and will be out to beat the Irish getting their revenge and moving on the the title game. Confidence Meter: 3

9:05- Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but need to get it going tonight at the Rose Garden as the take on the Blazers. Portland is favored by 3 1/2 at home where they’re 22-15 this season, but they’ve lost their last seven and have no playoff hopes of their own left. The Mavs have everything to play for while the Blazers are done for the season. Portland has lost their last two at home by wide margins to Memphis and Houston. Portland also lost their two games at Dallas this season while edging the Mavs by just two in their previous meeting at home. I think the Mavs get the win they need while the Blazers keep fading away. Confidence Meter: 5

Streak Scoreboard-April

Yesterday’s Picks: 8-11

Picks Overall this month: 59-39

Confident Picks (over 5): 13-12

Personal Streak: W2 (won both props in the Syracuse-Michigan game)

Topics: MLS Picks, NBA Picks, NHL Picks, PGA Tour Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks, Women's College Basketball Picks

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