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Submitted by Jim Hurley’s Network on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 3:21 PM

IT'S BEEN A MAJOR BOUNCEBACK FOR NBA PLAYOFF BETTING FAVORITES (AND WE'LL CLUE YOU IN!) ...PLUS IT'S CELTICS-WIZARDS IN A GAME 6 ...

BASEBALL NEWS/NOTES: CHECKING OUT THE MOST HOME RUN FRIENDLY PARKS

Do you recall way back when during the early stages of this year's NBA Playoffs when Betting Favorites stumbled out of the post-season gate at 4-9 ATS (against the spread)?

Sure you do, but talk about the winds of change!

Following Wednesday's action - see Boston (- 4) blasting Washington 123-101 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round - there were NBA Playoff Betting Favorites sittin' pretty overall at 33-26-2 ATS with one Pick 'Em game tossed into the mix.

Folks, that's a solid .559 winning rate for the chalk-eaters in these hoop playoffs and - if you go back to when the Favs were just 4-9 against the odds (and that was after the games played on April 18th) - you'll notice that NBA Betting Favorites are an electric 29-17-2 against the prices for a sizzling .630 winning rate.

Did the early part of Round I of this year's playoffs catch the favorites sleeping? Perhaps or maybe we've simply witnessed what has happened to a large degree throughout the league this year and that's the cream has risen to the top and especially when pushed into a must-win type situation.

Note that in the here-and-now second round of this year's NBA Playoffs, the Betting Favs are a collective 12-5-1 against the odds (that's a resounding .706 winning rate) and it includes the Home Betting Favorites covering in all previous five games played in the above-mentioned Boston vs. Washington best-of-seven series.

No doubt that the real superpowers of this league - that's the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the two-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors - have been laying bundles of points thus far and they are a combined rock-solid 9-5-2 vig-wise (a .643 winning percentage):

The Cavs are 4-2-2 spreadwise as chalk sides while sweeping back-to-back playoff series against Indiana and Toronto; meanwhile, the Warriors are 5-3 ATS while tacking together back-to-back series sweeps versus Portland and Utah.

You get the idea ... the NBA Playoff Betting Favorites have been running wild in recent weeks.

The $64,000 question is will it continue right through this next month-plus of playoff games.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have plenty more winners in the NBA Playoffs and in Major-League Baseball - get 'em online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
On Friday night, it's ...BOSTON at WASHINGTON - Celtics lead series 3-2; Game 6 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Hey, what's with all these wild scoring sprees in this Celtics-Wizards series so far?

In Wednesday's Game 5 win/cover for Brad Stevens' Celtics crew, it was a 16-0 run very early in the game after Washington snagged a quick 4-0 lead plus remember we've had 26-0 and 22-0 scoring runs in other parts of this series that's been all home favorites all the time (see our accompanying chart below).

Now, if Washington wants to hold serve and be the team that runs off 18 or 20 or 24 points in a row, it's gonna have do at least two things:

Keep Boston's three-point shooters at bay - Wizards coach Scott Brooks was not happy with the perimeter "D" after the Celtics canned 16-of-33 triple tries the other night - and make sure that dynamic backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal are able to get out onto the open floor and zip to the hoop for some easy baskets. The Wall/Beal tandem combined for just 14 made FGs in Game 5 (they shot a combined 14-of-36) and there simply were not enough fast-break baskets to keep Boston honest.

Now, it's back-to-the-wall time for the host Wizards who need some off-the-pine scoring here whether it's bad boy Kelly Oubre or three-point marksman Bojan Bogdanovic - we say the Wizards will win/cover the current 5-point betting price if they can get meaningful points off the bench from these fellas. If Wall and Beal have to account for 50 percent of the team's output, it's likely curtains and see 'ya next year!

(Note all home teams are in CAPS below:)

DATE

WINNER

SPREAD

LOSER

SCORE

4-30

BOSTON

- 4.5

Washington

123-111

5-2

BOSTON

- 5

Washington

129-119 (ot)

5-4

WASHGTON

- 5.5

Boston

116-89

5-7

WASHGTON

- 5

Boston

121-102

5-9

BOSTON

- 4

Washington

123-101


BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES

There's been plenty of talk about how the baseballs are flying out of stadiums at a record pace this year - please don't tell us that the powers-that-be have "wound the baseballs tighter" or something to that effect!

Still, it got us to thinking that the new ballpark in Atlanta already resembles a modern-day launching pad of sorts and even the likes of Angel Stadium in Anaheim and Guaranteed Stadium in Chicago (home of the White Sox) are playing "smaller" than usual. Still, here's the up-to-date top five list of home-run friendly ballparks in the bigs:

1 Chase Field - Arizona
2. Coors Field - Denver
3. Miller Park - Milwaukee
4. Yankee Stadium - New York
5. Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia.

And speaking of home run hitters, Yankees rookie RF Aaron Judge entered Thursday's action tied for the MLB lead with Milwaukee's Eric Thames and Washington's Ryan Zimmerman with 13 dingers apiece but how about a couple of other off-the-radar screen names that already have whacked double-digit homers - Miami OF Marcell Ozuna (and not Giancarlo Stanton) leads the Marlins with 11 home runs while Oakland's Yonder Alonso has pounded out 11 taters with his newer/compact swing.

Finally, what were the odds that here in the second week of May the MLB saves leader would be Colorado's Greg Holland? The reborn former member of the Kansas City Royals (remember they won their 2015 World Series without 'em) has 14 saves and note Holland has allowed just one hit and 2 BB in 21 batters faced at Coors Field this year and that's truly amazing stuff.

NOTE: More NBA Playoffs goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez.