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A Whirlwind of NBA Offseason News In Exciting 2021 Playoffs
Cody Bellinger is Back on the Injured List
Oddsmakers Face Off the Top Two NL East Squads
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BTCUSD chart from Kraken.
Cryptocurrency market capitalization suffered a steep drop in the last 24 hours touching $1.13T, a staggering 57% off the ATH.
BTC has now formed a death cross, which means that the short-term price action, i.e. the 50EMA has fallen below the long-term price action, i.e. the 200EMA. This could be a sign of further losses to come. The world's most popular cryptocurrency broke the well-supported $30,000 level and touched $28,816, a level that has not been seen since the January. While the death cross is usually a bearish signal in the financial markets, it is also a lagging indicator. With cryptocurrency at least, it is less predictive and more exhibitionary. In fact, in 2015, 2018, and 2019, the cryptocurrency market saw gains weeks after the supposed bearish signal.
Bearish or not, the current sell-off is as one would expect for this phase of the market cycle. Having seen the $64,000 ATH (an increase of 800% from 52-week prior), BTC needs to undergo healthy consolidation where the asset changes hands from speculators and traders (that built momentum up to the ATH) to investors and funds with longer time horizons. The fact that this consolidation seems to be happening ~$30,000 mark is impressive as this level was only established in 2021. If BTC dips lower, it would be worrying but the macro trends are still very much in place as they were two months ago. In fact, they are only getting stronger with more larger funds investing into the Grayscale cryptocurrency instruments, miners moving to greener sources of energy, and Chinese miners moving to more friendly regulatory regions.
In the short-term, the sell-off can also be partially-attributed to the US Fed's tightening of the interest rates as well as the end of the stimulus program. Just yesterday, BTC touched $28,816 before climbing back to $33,290. With this dip, BTC, and indeed the larger cryptocurrency market, has broken the short-term sideways formation that we've previously discussed. At this point, the price-action, which formed a lower-low, is consistent with the bearishness that the death cross suggests. Today's candle indicates more demand than sell pressure although this is likely that this is a rally that's often seen in an overall downtrend.
This begs the questions: where will cryptocurrency market capitalization bottom?
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Odds provided by BetMGM / Odds table via Vegas Insider [Updated on Monday, June 21, 6:00 am ET]
A Whirlwind of NBA Offseason News Exploded During This Very Exciting 2021 Playoffs
The Western Conference Finals are upon us, and the Eastern Conference Finals will be starting very soon. Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans each made news last week, as it was announced that head coaches Scott Brooks and Stan Van Gundy will not be coming back next season. Van Gundy’s firing came after just one 31-41 season. After those two coaches were let go, Rick Carlisle announced that he left the Dallas Mavericks after 13 seasons as the head coach. Mavericks executive Donny Nelson, the son of Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson, is out after 24 years with the team.
When looking more into the situation with the Wizards, Bradley Beal has been discussed as a possible trade candidate. Even with the addition of Russell Westbrook - whom Scott Brooks coached for more than half of the triple-double record holder’s Thunder career - Beal and company only squeezed into the playoffs with a play-in victory and eighth seed in the playoffs. Both players are expected to return to Washington (Bovada: Beal -650 and Westbrook -3500), with the Golden State Warriors (+800), Philadelphia 76ers (+800), and Pelicans (+850) in the hunt for Beal. Westbrook’s suitors are the Boston Celtics (+800) and Los Angeles Clippers (+800) along with the Miami Heat (+800), who could also go for Beal (+950).
There is also a coaching vacancy in Boston, as the Celtics made some adjustments with Brad Stevens moving from the head coach position to the franchise’s new president of basketball operations, replacing Danny Ainge. Stevens already has made his first trade in his new position: he acquired Al Horford, Moses Brown, and a draft pick. In the trade, he unloaded Kemba Walker’s large contract, but he had to get rid of the No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 draft to the draft pick-rich Oklahoma City Thunder.
So, who does BetOnline Sportsbook think the next Celtics coach will be? Former Celtic Chauncey Billups (+300) is the favorite. Kara Lawson (+750) has the second-highest odds. Another former Celtic Sam Cassell, Nets assistant Ime Udoka, and Lakers assistant Jason Kidd (each +800) are also in the mix, with Spurs assistant Becky Hammon (+1200) and Bucks assistant Darvin Ham (+1400) being considered as well. Billups, Udoka, and Ham have reportedly made it to the second round of interviews.
Special Odds & Prop Bets provided by BetOnline and Bovada Sportsbook / Odds table via Las Vegas Sports Betting. [BetOnline updated on Thursday, June 17; Bovada updated on Tuesday, June 8]
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The Playoff Bracket via NBA.com
[Prior to the games played on Monday, June 21]
Western Conference Finals: Devin Booker Dazzles the Valley with His First Career Triple-Double in Game 1 Win
(2) Phoenix Suns lead the (4) Los Angeles Clippers, 1-0
FiveThirtyEight prediction: Suns move onto the NBA Finals (78%) and win the NBA Finals (52%); Clippers third in title ranking (15%); both teams looking for their first championship in franchise history
BetMGM Odds Timeline:
June 2 - Suns-Bucks NBA Finals matchup +2500
June 20 - Suns-Bucks NBA Finals matchup +130
Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals tips off at 9:00 pm ET on Tuesday, June 22 at Phoenix Suns Arena
Game 2 Spread: opened at and currently is Suns -6
Game 2 Moneyline: opened at and currently is Suns -235, Clippers +195
Game 2 Over / Under: opened at and currently is 224
Remaining Schedule for the Series:
Game 3. Thursday, June 24, 9:00 ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Game 4. Saturday, June 26, 9:00 ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Game 5 (if necessary). Monday, June 28, 9:00 pm ET at Phoenix Suns Arena
Game 6 (if necessary). Wednesday, June 30, 9:00 ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Game 7 (if necessary). Friday, July 2, 9:00 ET at Phoenix Suns Arena
Series Update: The Clippers (+700 to win the NBA championship) fought hard through six games against the Utah Jazz, and they made a historic 25-point comeback to become the first team to ever come back from being down 2-0 to win a best-of-seven series twice in the same year. Clippers second-year guard/forward Terance Mann went from fringe rotation player to record-setting hero in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals in front of Staples Center’s first packed house in 15 months. They then ran into Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns (+170 title odds), who despite the absence of former Clipper Chris Paul (out indefinitely; health and safety protocols), played tremendously in Sunday’s Game 1 win.
The Clippers were able to move onto the Western Conference Finals without All-NBA first-team forward Kawhi Leonard, but All-NBA third-team guard Paul George and company could not get the job done in the 120-114 loss in the opening game of the series. The back-and-forth game included a whopping 20 lead changes and 13 ties. The Los Angeles bench outscored Phoenix’s bench by 14 points, but Booker’s triple-double and the Suns’ domination of the paint, 54 to 34, led Monty Williams’ squad to the 1-0 lead. On Sunday, there was more good news in Phoenix, as Suns general manager James Jones won the 2020-21 Executive of the Year award. Phoenix looks to keep home court with another victory in Game 2, as Leonard will miss his fourth consecutive game.
Eastern Conference Finals: Hawks Stun the 76ers in Philadelphia; Will Be Underdog Against Bucks, Who Outlasted Durant and the Nets
(3) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
FiveThirtyEight prediction: Bucks move onto the NBA Finals (77%) and rank second for winning the title (29%); Hawks fourth in title ranking (4%)
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tips off at 8:30 pm ET on Wednesday, June 23 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee
Game 1 Spread: opened at and currently is Bucks -8
Game 1 Moneyline: opened at Bucks -380, Hawks +320; currently Bucks -375, Hawks +295
Game 1 Over / Under: opened at 230; currently 229.5
Remaining Schedule for the Series:
Game 2. Friday, June 25, 9:00 pm ET at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee
Game 3. Sunday, June 27, 9:00 ET at State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Game 4. Tuesday, June 29, 9:00 ET at State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Game 5 (if necessary). Thursday, July 1, 9:00 pm ET at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee
Game 6 (if necessary). Saturday, July 3, 9:00 pm ET at State Farm Arena in Atlanta
Game 7 (if necessary). Monday, July 5, 9:00 pm ET at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee
Series Update: On Sunday, the Philadelphia 76ers’ postseason struggles continued, as Game 7 veteran head coach Doc Rivers lost his fourth consecutive win-or-go-home contest. Joel Embiid’s game-high 31 points were not enough, as Kevin Huerter led the Hawks (+1100 title odds) with 27 points en route to Atlanta’s 103-96 road victory. Trae Young, who joined Rivers in an impressive Game 7 double-double club, celebrated the Father’s Day victory by giving his father the jersey he wore in the win. Meanwhile, Ben Simmons set a record for the worst single-postseason free throw percentage in NBA history and did not attempt a field goal in the fourth quarter of any of the final four games of the series.
These no-all-star Hawks, who last won a title in 1958, won their franchise’s first road Game 7 on their 10th try. They will be taking on the Milwaukee Bucks (+110 title odds), who last held up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in 1971. The Hawks will also have the chance to face former Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer, who was the last coach to bring the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 40 points in the overtime victory, as his Bucks withstood Kevin Durant’s onslaught of 48 points, a Game 7 record. Khris Middleton became the first player in NBA playoff history to register at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five steals in back-to-back games. To add insult to injury for the Nets, guard Spencer Dinwiddie declined his $12.3 million contract option and has become an unrestricted free agent.
NBA Predictions via FiveThirtyEight prior to the games on Monday, June 21
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Cody Bellinger, Who Did Not Play from April 6 to May 28, is Back on the Injured List with Left Hamstring Tightness
The Los Angeles Dodgers (+340 to win the World Series; +165 to win the National League) have a 10-6 record in Bellinger’s first 16 games of the 2021 season, but they are going to be without the former MVP and Rookie of the Year for hopefully only a brief period of time. Without Bellinger, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, and Dustin May, Los Angeles is searching for a way atop the NL West. An impressive streak ended on Monday, as the San Diego Padres (+700; +375) were favored against the Dodgers; it is the first time in 151 games that Los Angeles was the underdog. The rival San Francisco Giants (+2000; +1000) lead the division and have performed very well, as they took advantage of the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks recently.
Now, let us travel a few dozen miles south to Angel Stadium where we find the other Los Angeles squad, which is another team dealing with injuries. Mike Trout headlines the Angels (+6600; +3000) on the injured list along with utility player José Rojas, outfielder Dexter Fowler, starter José Quintana, and right-handed reliever Aaron Slegers.
While the majority of the Angels starters are struggling to have ERA’s below 4.00, Shohei Ohtani currently stands second in the AL MVP odds at +165. He has been a tremendous outfielder and starting pitcher this season. Ohtani recently went through the hottest stretch of his career, as he launched six home runs from Tuesday to Sunday in addition to throwing six innings of one-run ball last Thursday. His next start is Wednesday against the scorching hot Giants. The Japanese two-way shining star is the first player to commit to the 2021 Home Run Derby. The hope is the other MVP favorites - Fernando Tatís Jr. (+200, NL), and Ronald Acuña Jr. (+350, NL, hit his 100th career home run on Sunday) - follow suit and put on a show at Coors Field on July 12.
Odds provided by BetMGM / Odds table via Vegas Insider [Team Futures updated on Friday, June 11, 9:00 am ET; MVP Futures updated on Friday, June 18]
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According to the Oddsmakers, the Top Two NL East Squads Face Off for Their Third Series of the Season
MLB Prediction (ATL @ NYM) via FiveThirtyEight
The New York Mets have been dominating the NL East division since May, and they are the second-biggest division favorite in Major League Baseball:
White Sox (-500): NL Central
Mets (-300): NL East
Dodgers (-200): NL West
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves have struggled recently. In early June, they finally brought their record back to .500 at 29-29, but then a four-game losing streak, including two walk-off losses to the Philadelphia Phillies, dropped the Braves to the third spot in the NL East.
This four-game series is very important for both of these teams, and it is the first of two series between these division rivals over the course of the next two weeks. Charlie Morton (6-3. 4.03, 1.21) and Marcus Stroman (6-5, 2.35, 1.04) will toe the rubber for this intriguing game.
Stroman and the Mets appear to be a slight favorite for the contest, and they should be the favorite not only because New York is a better team, but also due to the fact that the Mets have played tremendously well at home this season. Also, the Braves are below .500 on the road this year.
Jonathan Villar (3-for-11 with a home run and five strikeouts in his career vs. Morton) and Dominic Smith (2-for-4 with a home run vs. Morton) will like to double their career home run total against the starter who is in his second stint with the Braves. Francisco Lindor (2-for-18 career vs. Morton), who hit two home runs on Saturday, could be finally heating up his bat, and he will try to stem the tide against Morton.
Ozzie Albies (4-for-9 career vs. Stroman), who has been extraordinary at getting extra-base hits this season, will look to get the Braves offense cooking. The Atlanta team offense has had trouble hitting the ball out of the park in June after tallying 38 home runs in March/April (26 games) and 43 home runs in May (25 games). As Albies goes, the team goes: he has performed significantly better in wins than losses this season.
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