The japenese tennis ace Nishikori claimed a strong victory against Bautista the other day where he won it quite comfortably, controlling the match all the way through. His playstyle is quite steamy in that when he picks up pace it is hard for the opposition to follow suit. This is something the spaniard got to experience.
Golubev also had a strong match in his last bout and went on to face Nishikori. The opponent Paire is no weak player, but given that he had been struggling with his knee left us wondering how much he actually were able to put out on the field. After he had been playing really bad in his match he decided to forfeit it because of knee injury.
This match will be played on gravel and Golubev is not strongest on this surface. He likes it fast and hard. Because of this we see that Nishikori might already be set up for a little advantage.
We also do not believe that we have seen enough to impress us. Nishikori has a pretty high skill level and can easily simply outpace his opponent if he decides to get things going. Golubev needs a really good day and stay on top of his game if he is to stand any chance. Therefore we like Nishikori’s chances here!
Our Predictions: Kei Nishikori to win (Odds are 1.22 @ Pinnacle Sports)
What is there to say about Atletico Madrid that has not been said about them? Simeone has done an incredible job with a team that before this season looked troubled with a lot of debt, losing key players and other problems.
Now they are in the semifinals and might be free of their financial troubles (or at least ease them a lot) if they advance. They thus have a lot to play for and will probably continue their great streak after defeating Barcelona in the quarter finals.
For this match most of their players are fit and ready to go, and even Ardan Turan is ready to play for the Spanish side which might be a crucial sub in the game. Besides this their morale is at an all time high as they are fighting for trophies all over.
Chelsea on the other hand is trucking along. They are off course a force to be reckoned with as they have for long now been a tough team to beat in any competition.
But they seem to be struggling right now. They just suffered a terrible loss against Sunderland this week, and that was at home. Since they are still in the hunt for the Premier League title this is no good. Now they are facing much tougher opposition and are away to boot.
As most know, Mourinho is tactical adept and will likely lay low and simply try to defend and keep it to a draw and force a goal at home, boring stuff for us viewers, but Atletico is not gonna let that happen. They are likely to pounce in order to get a good result going to Stamford Bridge so we like a bet on the Spanish side here.
Our Predictions: Atletico Madrid to win (Odds are 1.85 @ Bet365)
It is time for the playoffs and the second place finishers in the Pacific divison, San Jose Sharks, is hosting the third place finishers from the same division, Los Angeles Kings, in the first of possible seven matches in this playoff match. We are looking at two vastly different teams here, but also two that are playing closely in the matchup.
Sharks have a great team starting with their solid and tough offence. They have both the speed and the toughness to really duke it out on the edges and make things happen. Thornton and Marleau are making things happen up front and are supporte by players like Couture and Burns. They are lacking in depth though, but this first line is pretty fierce.
Defensive they are also quite good with the veteran Boyle, but he is starting to look sluggish in our opinion. They are lukcy they are facing the tempered and easy-going team from Los Angeles which would probably fit the backfield better. Vlasic will off course try to make up for this lack of speed as he looks like a complete back from our point of view.
As for the Kings we have a team that strangely enough advanced to the playoffs, while at the same time finishing the season with the fifth lowest scoring rate. The reason they did this is that they also have the lowest allowed scoring rate in the league. Their playing style is simply so laidback and methodical that you wouldn’t believe. I have trouble foreseeing them taking it all the way, but it is an interesting approach to the game.
They never seem to fully go on the offence and are always leaving their third man at the back so as to never be overpowered on the counter attack. This has lead them to shutting out the offensive players of many teams and will probably frustrate this Sharks team as well.
We believe that the low scoring and low scores allowed favors a under bet here. The speed of the Sharks attacking side is not enough to break through this stout defence and we are not likely to see a high scoring game. Bet the under!
Our Predictions: Under 5 goals to be scored (Odds are 1.73 @ Bet365)
The Buffalo Sabres has fought valiantly in their latest matches, but haven’t come up with many points. They are now on a six game losing streak and 17(!) of the last 19 games. Their form is simply atrocious.
The team is filled with talented and solid players, but they have been plagued with injuries and this has made their season quite horrific to watch as of late. Before their game against the Islanders they are looking at even more players ending up on the injury reserved list. To paint a picture of how bad it is: they are now resorting to their 4th string goalie. Hackett is far from NHL level of play as he wasn’t even a regular in the AHL.
The Islanders, like the Sabres, are out of any kind of playoff picture, but unlike Buffalo they have actually been playing some good hockey as of late. They have been trying out some rookies here and there with great success. It does not seem like they are missing any of their great starters.
New York Islanders is on a winning streak right now and have a 16-5-2 record in away games. They have solid power-play efficiency and their first and second string of players are quite strong.
This team plays fast and without any respect for the other team, just like you want to see from the up and comers. It should make for an exciting match seeing a lot of youngsters butting heads, but one of the teams have somewhat proven themselves while the other holds talent that is too far from the level of the NHL.
Note: This match got underway while I did the research and the writeup, so Sabres is in the lead right now, but I feel confident the Islanders is gonna take this. We are gonna bet on them doing their thing!
Our Predictions: New York Islanders to win (Odds are 4.00 @ Bet365)
It is all set for the semifinals in the ATP Houston 2014 and we have a battle between Sam Querrey and Nicolas Almagro in the first match. The turf is still on gravel.
Querrey hasn’t had the greatest season so far, but this is finally his time to shine when he reached a top 4 spot.
The american beat Dustin Brown 6-4, 6-7 (where they had to play for some time) and 6-3. Querrey took advantage of the mistakes that the german made and Brown didn’t, that was the deciding factor in this close tennis match. He needs to step it up if he wants to have any hopes of getting any further in this tournament.
The spaniard Almagro hasn’t been all that impressive this year either. He prefers playing on gravel though and has been solid this week against Sock and Russel. Both these were beaten quite handidly and we believe that he will continue this good streak.
When these two players have met before Almagro has taken the games quite easily. He has won the last 5 meetings between these, and in the last two meetings on gravel Almagro has completely dominated him taking all the sets.
In this matchup we simply believe that Almagro is the better player and he should have the upper hand here. Querrey needs to give it his very best if he is to have any chance which we don’t see happening anytime soon.
Because of this perceived skill differential we like a handicap bet on Almagro of -1.5 sets. If you want to be more cautious you can get him as a straight up winner as well at 1.27 odds.
Our Predictions: Nicolas Almagro (-1.5) to win (Odds are 1.83 @ Pinnacle Sports)
It finally looks like Dallas Stars might be able to make it to playoffs after a 6 year drought. Not since Mike Modano have they been able to pull that off and are probably thirsty for another run at the Stanley Cup trophy.
With a victory in tonights match they will be in and it comes as no surprise after how their top players have been performing as of late. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. They are both in the top 10 for points created and that says all about how important these players are for the team right now.
They did lose their last match against the Blue Jackets 1-3, but Benn and Seguin both had some spark of brilliant play and managed to secure more points when they got a goal in power play. The team needs to, and we believe they will, rise up against this defeat and get that last win needed to get to the playoffs.
Althought Blues is considered one of the top teams in the league, the last two weeks have seen them completely bomb. The latest strike were against Minnesota last night where they took a 2-4 beating which sits them at a streak of 2-5 in their last 7 matches in the NHL.
They lost TJ Oshie as well as David Backes so they are missing key personell untill the playoffs. They have been conceding a lot of goals and not been able to put them up temselves. The team looks really unmotivated to play the last set of games before the playoffs, and we can understand why. The Blues are secured a high spot in the playoffs and will not be risking their best players with season ending injuries when they have nothing to play for.
If this were a regular match you would find that the Blues would be the huge favorite here, but given that they play without passion, have no motivation and are lackin personell you can be quite certain they will look to rest their players against a team that is fighting with teeth and claws for their playoff spot.
Our Predictions: Dallas Stars to win (Odds are 2.60 @ Bet365)
The german Becker opened with a strong victory over Ramirez Hidalgo with sets of 6-1, 1-6 and 6-3. Becker serves were quite good and helped carry him through this stage.
Todays opponent is Jack Sock, a 21 year old American, who beat the Croatian Ivo Karlovic with sets of 6-1 and 6-4. This was a horrible match by Karlovic though who didn’t seem to adjust to the turf at all and he who usually is quite good at serving the ball were completely put out of the game. I believe Becker is gonna put up a much bigger fight.
These players have never played each other before and it is gonna be fun to see how they compare up against each other when they face off on gravel in Houston. This is a turf none of these players like very much so its gonna be fun seeing who will grab the longest straw.
Because of this we don’t understand why Sock has so low odds put to his name. He is the better player of the two, but when they are playing at a turf which both of them struggle on and Becker has shown his prowess in his first match and Sock has not, we believe that the German is gonna take advantage of this situation and advance further at the expense of the young american.
If Becker can utilize his strength at serving and play solid, I believe he stand a great chance at winning this match. He is not the favorite, but 3.00 is way too high and warrants a bet at Bet365.
Our Predictions: Benjamin Becker to win (Odds are 3.00 @ Bet365)
So we have another two big games going down in the Champions League 2014. The second round of second legs are being played and Manchester United is visiting the german team Bayern Munich after a 1-1 draw in England last game.
The bookies seems to think that this game is already sealed and done, but it does not seem that people are aware that this is the one tournament that matters for United as of now. They are already out of the Champions League chase for next year, not to mention the title race and has to cling to the hope of winning this years CL.
While the Munich side is the far better of these two they are missing quite a lot of players for this match. Players like Schweinsteiger, Alcantara, Shaqiri, Martinez, Contento and many others. Guardiola is quoted saying he has 14 starters available from his squad. Even though they are the better team this won’t hold up in the Champions League.
United are missing a couple of great starters as well though in Mata and van Persie. They are still able to field a nice team where players with minor injuries are back and they seem to have gotten a grip on what they need to do in order to get things back on track.
Bayerns form has also been weak lately. Being at 2-3-0 in the last five, but that might have to do with the fact that they have already won the league title at home and are likely to rest players in order to go for the champions league trophy this year as well.
United are high up after beating Newcastle 0-4 last week and are likely confident going into this game. I foresee that it is gonna be tough, but United have the experience in these tight spots and are capable of doing the seemingly impossible.
Bayern Munich will be content simply advancing here and will likely lay back and let United take charge. We foresee a low scoring, but exciting match as United will be chasing the winning scores.
Our Predictions: Under 2.5 goals (Odds are 2.70 @ 5Dimes)