Red Sox, Yankees remain co-World Series favorites

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Red Sox, Yankees remain co-World Series favorites

If Manny Machado signed with the New York Yankees, then they would have more than likely been favored to dethrone the Boston Red Sox as World Series champions in 2019. Instead, Machado landed with the San Diego Padres, so the Red Sox and Yankees remain listed as +600 co-favorites (bet $100 to win $600) on the World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Now the baseball world is waiting on free agent Bryce Harper to decide where he is going to play this season. However, more National League teams like the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals are still the favorites right now as pitchers and catchers have reported.

The big questions for the Red Sox include whether or not they can continue their momentum from their magical postseason run in 2018 that led to a ninth World Series title, and have the Yankees done enough to surpass them as the team to beat in the American League?

The Houston Astros are in the mix as the +800 third choice on the odds to win the World Series as well after taking home their first title two years ago against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are right there with them again at +800. Boston took care of Houston in last year's playoffs, winning four straight in the American League Championship Series following a loss in Game 1.

The Dodgers edged the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in the National League Championship Series to get back to the World Series for the second year in a row and then lost 4-1 to the Red Sox.

Philadelphia leads the second group of contenders to win the 2019 World Series at +1400 along with the St. Louis Cardinals, who acquired first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the offseason in an effort to get them past the Brewers (+1600) and Chicago Cubs (also +1400) in the NL Central.

The Phillies figure to move up into the top tier if Harper joins them while the Nationals would probably rise from +1600 if he re-signs there.

The Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians are two more teams to consider in the NL and AL, respectively, with both of them at +1600. Despite adding Machado, the Padres are longer shots to win the World Series at +4000 due to a lack of quality starting pitching and depth in a tough NL West where the Colorado Rockies (+2500) could be a factor again this year.

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Celtics 5 1/2-point underdogs at Milwaukee tonight

Celtics 5 1/2-point underdogs at Milwaukee tonight

The Boston Celtics (37-21) are chasing three other teams for the top seed in the Eastern Conference right now, led by their Thursday opponent - the Central-leading Milwaukee Bucks (43-14). The Celtics will get back to work after the All-Star break by visiting the Bucks as 5.5-point road underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Milwaukee and Boston both won two straight games heading into the break, but the former has been hotter over a longer period recently en route to the East's best record. The Bucks have also won eight of their last nine games and 14 of 16 to keep a little distance between them and the Atlantic-leading Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the conference.

The Celtics trail the Raptors by 5.5 games in the Atlantic but hold a tiebreaker over the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the same record but have lost all three meetings this season.

Boston won last year's first-round playoff matchup with Milwaukee in seven games, and the teams have split two meetings so far this year. The Celtics have enjoyed more longer-term success in the series though, going 7-5 straight up but a more impressive 9-3 against the spread in the past 12 games between them, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

In the last meeting on December 21, the Bucks won 120-107 as 1.5-point road favorites behind a game-high 30 points from MVP contender Giannis Antetokounmpo, who made 8-of-13 shots from the field but converted on 13-of-17 attempts from the free-throw line as well. 

Boston's starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart struggled with their shooting in that game, making just 9-of-28 (32 percent), including 1-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc.

One constant in this matchup over the last couple seasons has been plenty of offense, with both teams scoring 100 points or more in the same game seven times in the previous 11. That has obviously helped the OVER cash nine times during that stretch. Going back even further, the OVER is 19-8-1 in the past 28 meetings dating back to 2012.

It is also worth noting that this is the highest total in a matchup involving these teams over that period at 227 points.

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Bruins slight odds underdogs at Vegas tonight

Bruins slight odds underdogs at Vegas tonight

Two teams coming off very different results will square off in Sin City on Wednesday when the streaking Boston Bruins (35-17-8) visit the slumping Vegas Golden Knights (32-25-4) as small road underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. 

The Bruins are riding a six-game winning streak into Vegas while the host Golden Knights have dropped eight of 11.

Boston remained perfect on its current five-game road trip with a 6-5 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Monday. The Bruins had won each of their previous three games by two goals or more, including the first two of their road trip versus the Anaheim Ducks (3-0) and Los Angeles Kings (4-2). Charlie McAvoy tallied the game-winning goal in OT at San Jose to help the team overcome a hat trick from former Boston draftee Joe Thornton.

Meanwhile, Vegas was blanked 3-0 by the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, failing to continue some momentum gained from a 5-1 rout of the Nashville Predators on Saturday. The Golden Knights had ended a franchise-worst five-game home skid with the win over the Predators behind backup goaltender Malcolm Subban, who also took the loss at Colorado.

Like Thornton, Subban is another former first-round pick of the Bruins, so it will be interesting to see if Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant gives him a third straight start instead of putting Marc-Andre Fleury back in net for a chance to break his personal three-game losing streak.

When these teams last met in Boston on November 11, Subban got the call and made 33 saves in a 4-1 loss while surrendering all the goals. Jaroslav Halak earned that victory for the Bruins at TD Garden with 37 saves, and he was in net for the 3-0 shutout of the Ducks last Friday.

Even though the Golden Knights have lost the past two meetings in the series, both took place on the road. Vegas defeated Boston 3-1 at T-Mobile Arena on October 15, 2017.

The UNDER has also cashed in all three meetings between the teams dating back to the inaugural season for the Golden Knights, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, with the first two closing at 6.0 goals. The losing team was held to only one goal each time.

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