UFC Fight Night – Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs August Sakai – Winner – Jairzinho @ 1.85
“Bigi Boy” has had his fair share of tough times in the last year and a half. A convincing loss to current Heavyweight Champion and Stake Brand Ambassador, Francis Ngannou in March was followed by a TKO win against Junior Dos Santos. But a decision loss to Ciryl Gane in February this year put a dent to any hopes of a title shot. This weekend is his chance to fight back (pun intended). Jairzinho has one of the deadliest strikes in the entire Heavyweight division and against most fighters, you’d back him in. Augusto Sakai is not any fighter however. Standing only 2cm shorter than the Surinamese fighter, the Brazilian will not be intimidated by Jairzinho’s major presence. We think in spite of this, “Bigi Boy” will have an advantage with reach that will prove decisive, whether by decision or early knockout. 1 unit.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Winner – Milwaukee Bucks @ 2.44
The Bucks, led by reigning back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, are pretty heavy underdogs here. This is of course due to possibly the most hated Big 3 in the NBA – Harden, Durant, and Kyrie. Harden plays for fouls, Kyrie is a diva, and KD’s character flaws are beyond belief, so it can be tough for bitter fans around the world to see them dominating. The Nets comfortably dispatched a fairly sorry Celtics team by Gentleman’s Sweep, but there’s a huge difference between them and the Bucks. The Bucks, who have looked down on the Nets from the top of the standings for several years now, just swept the current Eastern Conference Champions with ease, and have one of the strongest, deepest, and most well-rounded rosters in the league. The Bucks are one of the stronger defensive teams around, which will put them in good stead to hold off the offensive onslaught from the Nets. You can’t shut the Nets down, but they certainly won’t be shutting down anyone, either, with their poor defence. So, if the Bucks can limit the offensive juggernaut and get good shooting numbers from most of their team, they should power through and take a 1-0 lead in the series. 1 Unit
Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets – Handicap – Portland Trail Blazers -5.5 @ 1.98
Wow, how good was Game 5? A double OT game, that saw Damian Lillard drop 55 points in what was truly a masterpiece. Ultimately, Dame couldn’t do any more. His teammates, you could say, let him down especially in OT’s second period. Jusuf Nurkic being fouled out didn’t help either, of course. After winning game 4 at home pretty comfortably, I’m backing Dame to have even more fire in the belly, as well as a better performance from his teammates to set up a game 7 between two teams who may be forming a rivalry for the ages. A small handicap and some nice value looms for our tipsters. 1 unit.
The Memorial Tournament 2021 – Top 20 – Shane Lowry @ 2.75
Lowry arrives at Muirfield Village this week boosted by a cracking PGA Championship, which saw him finish up in fourth place with a closing round of 69. However this form started when he finished eighth at Sawgrass in March and has subsequently seen him make his next six stroke play cuts and post another top ten at the Heritage to go with the fourth place at Kiawah Island. The strength of Lowry’s game this season has certainly been from tee to green as he currently ranks 22nd in this department, he also though ranks 26th around the greens, both of which are top requirements on this Jack Nicklaus designed course. Wind, which can be a factor here looks set to play a part too, as all four days show the potential for 15-20mph gusts meaning the Open Champion is of course a perfect man to have on your side. He’s also made no secret of his desire to make the Ryder Cup team in September — with his ambitions, recent form and a man who raises his game for the bigger events, there are plenty of reasons to think he can keep the momentum up. 1.5 units.
LA Lakers vs Phoenix Suns – Suns over 102.5 @ 1.77
During the entire playoff series with the Lakers, the Suns has gone above 102.5 points only once and that was on Game 5 where they led by as much as 37 points and finished 115-85. In the first 4 games, their highest finishing score was 102 which happened on Game 2. What’s the difference between Game 5 and the first 4 games? None other than the hulking presence of Anthony Davis. AD was absent on Game 5 due to a groin injury sustained in Game 4, he could play in Game 6 but it’s hard to imagine him performing at a 100%. With AD still questionable for Game 6 and the Suns’ new found confidence, I expect the Phoenix Suns to score over 102.5 by the end of the game. 1 unit.
Belgium Vs Greece – Handicap – Belgium -1 @ 1.63
Belgium will kickstart their European Championship preparations by hosting Greece. Although the head to head is completely split, with three wins apiece and three draws in their nine encounters, these two countries football teams could not have had more contrasting fortunes in the last twelve months. Belgium finished top of their Euro Championship qualifying group with ten straight wins (with only Italy in Group J the other team to manage this) and scored a whopping forty goals, conceding three. Greece on the other hand didn’t even qualify for the Euro’s, with a dismal showing that saw them win only one of their first seven matches before a late rally saw them finish third in the group, four points behind second placed Finland. Belgium go into the Euro’s as one of the favourites to go on and win it, and with a squad boasting the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku among others it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Greece get anything in this game. The Belgians will be looking to gather some momentum going into the Final’s and in their last four home games have beaten England, Denmark and Wales all by two goals before demolishing Belarus 8-0 the last time out. Belgium -1 on the handicap pays 2.09. Fill your boots. 2 units.
Spain vs. Portugal – 1×2 – Portugal @ 3.00
Spain’s time has come and gone as the utterly dominant superpower of European football. Sure, they still boast a strong squad relative to many of those around them, but they’re a long way from the heights of the late 2000s/early 2010s – the team which won the Euros in 2008 and 2012 in addition to the 2010 World Cup. This is a much younger side anchored by a new generation of players. Old stalwarts such as Sergio Ramos, David Silva, Casillas and Iniesta are all gone and have been replaced by a brigade of new players. Spain are still loaded with talent, but Portugal are somewhat unfairly treated as outsiders here. This is the team that won the most recent Euro tournament in 2016, and their squad has only improved since. They still boast the ever-present Cristiano Ronaldo alongside a slew of fantastic players that weren’t present in the last tournament; such as Ruben Dias to strengthen their defence, Bruno Fernandes to pull the strings going forward and Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix to assist Cristiano Ronaldo in attack. This is, on paper, a stronger squad than the one that won the most recent tournament. This is only a friendly, but we expect Portugal to show up strong against a good Spanish side and take some momentum into the Euro 2021 tournament. The price on them of 3.05 as underdogs is our reason for interest here – it’s just a bit too big to ignore. 1 unit.
This week’s community tip comes from JacksonPalmer who has chosen the following.
Italy vs Czech Republic – Italy 1×2 @ 1.65
Italy are in very good form as they have won all of their last five games with a clean sheet, while Czech Republic have won 3 out of the last five games, losing against Wales and a draw against Belgium in their last 2 games. The last head to head meeting between the sides in 2013 ended in Italy winning. They won the game 2-1. The last time Czech had beaten Italy was in 2002. I expect Italy to win this game.
Multi odds – 351.01*
If you like this week’s selections, copy from sport:10679392. Best of luck this weekend!