Toronto Raptors vs Atlanta Hawks – Winner (incl. Overtime) – Atlanta Hawks @ 1.82
The NBA has finally returned after an All-Star break that felt like it lasted forever, and we couldn’t be happier. The Atlanta Hawks should be happy too, since they get to play a decimated Toronto squad first up after a long week of rest and recuperation – and we’re taking them to win here. Due to border restrictions, the Raptors have had to set up a makeshift home court in Tampa this season, away from their families and friends all year. This clearly has had a big effect on their play, as they currently sit at 17-19 and have won just half of their “home” matches this season. This is a far cry from past seasons, where traveling to Toronto was a thing to fear for many squads in the NBA.Not only are they not really playing at home, they’re also being cut by injury. Key starters Fred Van Vleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby will all be missing this match, leaving Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell to do their best in carrying this offense minus three of their top scorers. Without these missing starters, the Raptors will be missing 53 points based on PPG averages, and we’re not sure that there’s enough talent on the Raps bench to make up for this against a deep Atlanta team. 1.5 units.
India vs England – 1st T20I – Winner (incl. Super Over) – England @ 2.20
The Ahmedabad pitch for the T20I series is expected to be batsman-friendly, as it always been in India during white-ball cricket. England’s rise to the ICC No.1 T20I side is because of their strong, aggressive batting. Not only will they have their rested gloveman, Jos Buttler (averaged 45.67 from his last six matches), the No.1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan, but also a returning Liam Livingstone who clubbed 426 runs in the recent BBL for the Perth Scorchers. No doubt the red-hot Axar Patel will be threat for India after he bamboozled the English batsmen (series figures – 27 wickets at just 10.59 apiece) with his left arm finger spinners during the Test series. However, England have their own wily wrist spinner in Adil Rashid, who has taken over 50 T20I wickets and hasn’t conceded more than 27 runs in his four over spells in his last five matches. With no less than 14 of England’s 16 man squad experiencing the bright lights of the IPL, home T20 advantage/conditions are somewhat nullified here — England to win as the slight underdog looks a bet to me… 2 units.
Fulham vs Manchester City – Handicap – City -1.5 @ 1.98
Manchester City may have lost at home to the putting the pressure on cup winners, Manchester United, but they were able to bounce back like nobodies business, with a big 5-2 win over Southampton. Since the last time they beat Southampton, which ended 1-0, they were able to win 22/23 matches. Out of these 22 wins, 17 of these came with a margin of two goals or more. They are a ridiculously well-drilled side, there’s no doubt about it. I am willing to take Fulham’s good form on at Craven Cottage, taking City to win by two goals or more. 1 unit.
Chicago Bulls vs Philadelphia 76ers – Bulls -3.5 @ 1.98
One of the few times that the 76ers are deemed the underdog and this time it’s because they will be missing their two most important players, Ben Simmons and MVP favorite Joel Embiid. The Bulls on the other hand will still have two of their most productive players, Coby White and Zach Lavine who has been outstanding for the Bulls this season. Shake Milton and Dwight Howard are expected to step up for the 76ers and they are quite solid players but they have pretty big shoes to fill. Since the Bulls are playing with their core players I’m backing them to cover -3.5. 1 unit.
Ajax vs BSC Young Boys – 1×2 & Total – Ajax & Over 2.5 @ 2.08
The Dutch giants have had a rough time in Europe ever since that fateful loss to Tottenham in the Champions League semis a few seasons ago. Despite losing several of their star players since then, their league performance hasn’t faltered in spite of lacklustre continental success. They will face the pride of Switzerland in the Young Boys, who have surpassed many expectations both at home and abroad this season. They surprised Leverkusen in the round of 32 and have a massive 19 point lead in the league. However, we feel their Europa League run will end at the hands of Erik ten Hag’s side. Both sides love to score as well. Ajax have not been kept to a clean sheet since December and BSC since January (November prior to this). With Ajax a stronger side on paper and the Over 2.5 paying only 1.50 itself, we feel this is too good of a price to turn away. 0.5 units.
Chelsea vs Leeds – 1×2 – Chelsea @ 1.77
Chelsea have been on a roll since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as manager, undefeated in 11 games across all competitions and winning 8 of them. In that time they’ve conceded just 2 goals and have the second best defence in the league, second only to Man City. They must surely fancy their chances of a top 4 spot, and may even be eyeing Man Utd in second, with there now only 4 points separating the two sides with 10 games left until the end of the season. Leeds on the other hand are in a poor run of form, losing 5 of their last 7 fixtures against sides nowhere near the caliber of Chelsea. Their inability to defend set pieces was again on display in their 2-0 defeat to West Ham the last time out, and despite star midfielder Kalvin Philips returning they still look poor defensively, with only West Brom, Southampton and Crystal Palace having conceded more this season. No other team this season has coped with the Leeds press as easily as Chelsea did in the reverse fixture earlier this season, and that was in the much maligned Frank Lampard era. Under Tuchel, Chelsea look more organised, difficult to beat and with the attacking threat to trouble just about anybody. Take them to win at 1.77.
This week’s community tip has been brought to you by Galahad28 who has taken the following fixture.
Union Berlin vs FC Koln – 1×2 – Union Berlin @ 1.97
Given the poor form of Koln and just how impressive Union Berlin have been this season, we feel this is a great price to get for the German capital-side to take three points in their unlikely bid for European football.
Multi odds – 113.85*
*Odds are subject to change
If you like our tips, copy from sport:7637623 and we’ll pay out anyone who backed it if every leg wins!
And good luck to Galahad who could win $10 if Union Berlin wins this weekend!