Cleveland Cavaliers waits at home one of the strongest teams in NBA these days – Houston Rockets. There is no doubt this is going to be the league’s most exciting match today. The guests led by James Harden have been unstoppable lately with eight wins and two losses in their last ten games. It is important to note that both losses came away from home, as Rockets last to New Orleans and LA Clippers. It is also important to mention that in both matches Houston were put as favorites by the bookmakers but they failed to win.
Statistics show Houston as favorites because this season they outperform the finalists of last year’s campaign. James Harden is the best scorer for Rockets with 31.5 points per game, while LeBron James, who is best for Cavaliers is only with 26.6. The situation is the same wit the assists. Both player are best for their teams as Harden makes an average of 9.1 per game while James has 8.7.
The two teams have already met this season, with Houston won at home, but in a very difficult match. Rockets beat 117:113 in a match played on November 10th. Last year Cleveland managed to win their home game, again with very low margin 95:90 after Extra time. Lebron James, Kevin Love and company is by no means underestimated by the bookmakers, and they have shown that although it is difficult for them this year, they have what is needed to be the usual factor in the championship.
Apart from all this, another important factor is in favor for the hosts, as they have one day more rest for compared with their guests. Cleveland played their last game on Feb. 1 with a home win over Miami with 91:89. Houston had a tough game in San Antonio yesterday, although they achieved a solid 92:101 victory against Spurs. However, the tiredness of two consecutive difficult away games will for sure affect their game, and that’s what makes Houston’s role as a bookmaker favorite in the match a little odd.
Bet365 gives +3 for the hosts with odds 1.95, which is a good enough for a solid bet. Whether it will happen is another story, but to bet for LeBron James at home with +3, against an opponent which had a tough match yesterday, even if it is Houston is a fully justified bet.
Manchester City managed to win the first semifinal match of Carabao Cup against Bristol City with 2:1. Today these two teams will play in the rematch and Bristol City hopes to perform even better and manage to make the biggest upset of the tournament and eliminate the future champion of England. A task which does not seem to be so impossible at first sight. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City’s top striker had to come and save the first match with a late goal which to overcome the efforts made by Bristol City’s players.
The match statistics is definitely in favor for Pep Guardiola’s players as they managed to create 26 goal threats but only six of them were precise shots. A fact which does not speak well for Manchester City’s forwards.
Several things are important to be considered before making a betting prediction for this match. On one hand, Premier League seems to have almost finished in favor of Manchester City, and they also have an easy homecoming match against WBA next Wednesday.
On the other hand, the team will have to play 3 matches within 7 days, with Cardiff match from FA cup on Sunday between these two. This, along with the increased injuries in the team, definitely suggests that Guardiola will have to value these three matches and the one against Bristol City looks to be the least important. In practice, this means we can hardly expect strong pressure and desire for a great victory for the guests in this game, but rather a controlled performance where the most important thing will be to reach the final with as little effort as possible.
That’s why a potential bet for Bristol City to win with an Asian handicap with +2 and odds of 1.7 looks like an excellent betting opportunity.
Bournemouth welcomes Arsenal in a match where almost all bettors expect many goals to fall. In the previous matches between these two teams an average of 3.33 were scored which combined with the fact that Bournemouth matches at home are usually very interesting because of the open style of the game make such expectations plausible. On the other hand, Arsenal is often involved in goal thrillers, an example of which is the last match between the two teams at the Vitality Stadium. Then Bournemouth led with 3:0 just to see the guests from Arsenal managed to catch up in the last few seconds for the final 3:3.
Several other facts also speak for a match with lots of goals, such as that Bournemouth has conceded at least one goal in each of theirs last 9 games, only Stoke is worse in the league with 12 matches. Apart from that, the statistics also indicate that Bournemouth is a team that allows many headers goals – 9 so far. According to the numbers Arsenal is a team that scores many headers goals – nine again, being second in the Premier League, just behind Chelsea in this indicator.
The statistics are one thing, but the realities to this very moment are quite different. If have a closer look to the team that Arsene Wenger will use for the match, one can hardly see potential scorers for the Gunners. The problems with the injuries of Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud, the uncertain situation of Alexis Sanchez, the weak form of Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi, leave the only dangerous striker in the team to be Alexandre Lacazette. However, he has shown that his ability to score in the Premier League are that good as expected. Lacazette has not scored a single goal in his last 8 games for Arsenal and the situation is even worse for the Frenchman with only two goals scored away from Emirates.
All this makes the possible bet for less than 1.5 goals, scored only by Arsenal players quite good bet. Bet365 offers a odds of 2.37 for that, which looks almost like a gift.
Whether it will happen we will see on Sunday afternoon.