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NBA Playoffs: Spurs vs. Rockets Over-Under Betting Pick from Will Rogers: May 11th 2017

San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets
NBA Playoffs Over-Under Pick: Over 213 points (May 11th 2017)

The set-up: The Spurs took a 3-2 lead in this series by winning Game 5 in OT (110-107), with All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard on the bench due to a left ankle injury. Manu Ginibili “turned back the clock” with his best game of the series, which included a line of 12-7-5 and then capped his performance with a block of Harden’s possible game-tying three-point attempt at the OT buzzer. Harden had 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 5 but it wasn’t enough..He was just 4-of-15 from three-point range plus Gordon, inserted into the starting lineup for Game 5, shot 4 of 13 from the floor (11 points) and reserve guard Lou Williams score only six points on 3 of 10 shooting.

San Antonio: Leonard vows he’ll be in the starting lineup tonight saying, “Yeah, I’m going to be able to play,” when asked during Wednesday’s off-day media availability. Patty Mills also figures to draw the start at PG for the second straight game, after scoring 20 points and knocking down five 3-pointers in Game 5. Then there is PF LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 18 points and added 14 rebounds on Tuesday, recording his first double-double of the series.

Houston: Head coach Mike D’Antoni not only “went small” by starting Gordon, he also opted for just a seven-man rotation, with veteran center Nene (groin) done for the postseason. Ryan Anderson and Lou Williams being the only reserves to play in Game 5. Anderson had a strong game with 19 points but as noted already, Williams shot poorly. In Houston’s three losses this series, Williams has gone 5 of 21 (23.8%) from the floor, scoring a total of just 10 points!

The pick: The results of D’Antoni’s decision to go with a seven-man rotation were NOT good. Harden and Gordon each played 43 minutes, Beverley was out there for 41 minutes and Ariza for 40 minutes. As fatigue mounted, offensive execution waned. Down the stretch, the Rockets began standing around and settled for tough shots instead of challenging the Spurs’ scrambling defense. “Probably got tired,” D’Antoni said of the lack of pace and production. “We just couldn’t quite push it. We had our opportunities with about three minutes to go in the game to knock a couple 3s down I thought were good shots. We just didn’t make the big play at that moment.” You think! The Spurs have Popovich and a long history of playoff games of this magnitude to draw on. However, slowing the Rockets down in Houston, especially if Leonard is not 100 percent, will be tough. The Rockets have averaged 116.5 PPG at home this year (regular and postseason) and if the team goes down, it will go down ‘swinging.’ With Houston also allowing 107.5 PPG at home, the Over is a solid play.

Braves vs. Astros Pitching Matchup & Game Prediction from Will Rogers: May 10th 2017

Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros
MLB Pick: Houston -169 odds (May 10th 2017)

The set-up: The Houston Astros cruised to an easy 8-3 win Tuesday at home over the Atlanta Braves, who have now lost five in a row while getting outscored 45-15 during their skid. The victory gives the Astros a 22-11 mark, the second-best record in the major leagues behind Baltimore (22-10). Houston concludes it two-game IL series with Atlanta Wednesday afternoon, looking to win for the eighth time in its last 10 contests.

The pitching matchup: Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.99 ERA) takes the mound for the Braves up against Joe Musgrove (1-3, 5.40 ERA) of the Astros. Garcia’s most recent outing was last Thursday in a game halted by rain in the fourth inning. That means he could be a bit fresher because of the decreased workload and note that Garcia had pitched well in his previous three starts, allowing only two runs in each, pitching at least six innings. However, he is 3-6 with a bloated 6.40 ERA in 11 career starts against the Astros (teams are 3-8). Musgrove has lost back-to-back starts and each of his last three decisions. He lasted a season-low four innings against Texas in his last outing, as he gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits. Musgrove has not pitched against the Braves.

The pick: The Braves have rarely been competitive in their recent losing slide (see above) and Garcia’s poor career mark against the Astros makes for more worries. The Astros are 13-6 at home plus while Musgrove has struggled away from Minute Maid Park ( 6.75 ERA in seven major-league road starts), he’s got a 3.04 ERA in 10 career appearances (nine starts) at home. Take Houston.

Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies Prediction from Mike Lundin: May 8th 2017

Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies
MLB Prediction: Rockies +122 odds (May 8th 2017)

The Chicago Cubs fell 5-4 to the New York Yankees in 18 innings Sunday night. Their bullpen is taxed after using seven relievers last night (four of them threw at least 30 pitches) and playing at Coors Field here the very next night could prove extremely tough for the Cubs. I like the Colorado Rockies as a home underdog here.

The Cubs’ Jake Arrieta (4-1, 4.63 ERA) has posted a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against the Rockies and he’s conceded a total of 13 runs (12 earned) on 24 hits through 16 1/3 innings in his last three starts. The Rockies hand hte ball to Antonio Senzatela (4-1, 2.84 ERA). The 22 year old is 2-1 with a 3.15 in three starts at Coors Field and the Rockies have won five of his six starts overall this season.

The Cubs are just 7-16 in the last 23 meetings in Colorado. The Rockies have won four of their last five, six of their last nine and they’re top of the NL West with a 20-12 record for the season.

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