NHL DRAFT/UFC/BIG3 - ODPH EXTRA

It’s been a while since we’ve had an ODPH EXTRA blog but there’s finally some stoiries to talk about in-between shows! Let’s waste no more time, shall we?

*NHL: The 2019 NHL draft kicked off Friday night. C Jack Hughes went #1 to the New Jersey Devils, RW Kaapa Kakko went #2 to the New York Rangers. Other notable picks were: D Moritz Seider going #6 to the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo taking C Dylan Cozens & D Ryan Johnson along with Philly trading down to select D Cam York.

Parlay Point: The NHL draft never lets down for some storylines. The big Hughes or Kakko debate was settled for now. Just wait until they suit up for their teams. Nothing better than sparking some competition into the Rangers and Devils rivalry. After those picks, the draft was more low-key but Detroit raised some eyebrows by taking Seider at 6.Nothing against Seider, but In some eyes, it felt like a reach at that pick. Buffalo added some needed pieces & Philly made one of the few trades which led to York. Day 2 has a lot of depth so teams can really add to their rosters with the right moves. Side note: LETS GO RANGERS! #KAKKOTIME

*UFC: The UFC has a big fight night Saturday, June 22nd with Featherweights Renato Moicano (13-2-1) and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (14-5) in the main event. Card starts at 7pm EST on ESPN+.

Parlay Point: Expecting the main event to put on a show. Moicano is coming off a bad TKO loss to Jose Aldo while TKZ is returning being on the receiving end of the wildest KO in UFC history. Yair Rodrigeuz threw a Hail Mary elbow that caught Jung with under 10sec. left in a 5 round battle. Both guys need a win to stay in title shot talk. I’m expecting the Zombie to really put some pressure on Miocano & have him winning via decision.

*NBA: With the finals in the books, The Big 3 returns this weekend! The league of retired (BUT they can still ball) NBA players kicks their season off Saturday with games being televised on CBS & the CBS sports network.

Parlay Point: Ice Cube’s concept league is back, and the Big 3 is fun to watch. Gilbert Arenas, Jermaine O’Neil, A’mare Stoudemire & Baron Davis are some of the notable names in the league. It’s a good product to watch to get your basketball fix in until the fall. More info: Big3.com

That’s all for now. Keep checking out the latest Podcast episodes & thanks for reading!

Coach Duffy’s NBA Finals Preview

Regular season series overview Raptors VS Warriors

Regular season matchup-  2 games played. Raptors 2 Warriors 0

Finals Preview: The Lineups

Warriors starting 5: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut

Raptors Starting 5: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol

As of writing this preview a timetable for both Kevin Durant and Demarcus Cousins hasn’t been given. Durant is listed as out for game 1 and Cousins as questionable. I am going to base my prediction as best as I can with those players set to return.

I should start off by saying I think the Warriors are still a very good team without Kevin Durant and are very capable to win this series without him. With saying that however for this series and this series in particular they will need him to return. The Blazers during that WCF just didn’t have any gas left in the tank to give the Warriors a run even without KD in the lineup. Now my reason for why they need him to return is different then what most will say. They need him to return so they can add depth back to the bench! Having to start Iguodala shortens an already short group off the bench for this Warrior team. And with any foul trouble to the big 3 forces Steve Kerr to have to turn to reserves like Cook, Bell, and Looney who have been used sparingly during this playoff run. At one point during the WCF with Curry and Green in early foul trouble, Kerr had to put a lineup out of Cook, Thompson, Iguodala, Bell, and Looney. While that lineup is capable to keep a lead against the Blazers. The Raptors would feast (what a pun!) on that 5. Insert KD into that lineup and it looks a little more like Cook, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant, and Looney. That’s a much better group on the floor and would still be able to give the Raptors a solid run on the floor.

On the flipside the Raptors are playing some of the best basketball they’ve played all season. Coming off that highly contested 7 game series vs the 76ers. A lot of people thought that maybe they just didn’t have anything left to give the NBA’s best overall record Milwaukee Bucks a run. On the contrary the Raptors lead by Leonard were able to get a six game series win  to close things out. Leonard played out of his freaking mind in this series. Having to not only be the primary scorer for the Raptors but often matching up against Giannis. Which I thought the Raptors would avoid as to not overload Leonard during the series. His matchup in this series will be a little easier given he will probably (at least for game 1) start on Iguodala. I am sure you will also see him matchup with Thompson and possibly even Curry during moments of the game. The raptors would be smart to try and attack Curry on the defensive end (I know some real insight here!) and cause him to get into foul trouble. Not only for the sake of getting him out of the game but for the reasons mentioned above. The Warriors just don’t have the same depth that the Raptors do. And should try to exploit that during the course of this series.

X Factors

Warriors: When Do Kevin Durant and Demarcus Cousins return? And if they don’t who steps up in their places

Steph Curry needs to continue to play a high clip

Raptors: Leonard’s dominance needs to continue on both ends

Taking advantage of the Warriors lack of depth

Prediction:

Warriors in 7

BELLATOR WON SATURDAY NIGHT!

As we discussed on the podcast (links available on the ODPH front page), Bellator 221 had a really stacked card Saturday night (Live on DAZN). There was a lot of hype (and rightfully so) for UFC 237, but at the end of the night, Bellator had made the bigger wins out of the 2 MMA promotions.

Take nothing away from UFC 237. They had a great main event with "Bate Estaca" Jessica Andrade defeating "Thug" Rose Namajunas in dramatic fashion for the women’s straw-weight title. They had big names on the card with Anderson Silva & Jose Aldo along with a nostalgic match between BJ Penn & Clay Guida. They had a great night, but Bellator had a better one.

Let’s break it down, shall we. Say what you will, but whenever an athlete crosses over to MMA, there’s a lot of questions. we’ve seen it with Brock Lesnar. We’ve seen it with CM Punk. We now see it with Jake Hager FKA Jack Swagger/Jake Strong from the pro wrestling world. Hager won his Bellator debut in decisive fashion a few months back & won with a 1st rd submission over TJ Jones Saturday. In the post cage conference, Hager cut into a vocal Illionis crowd, taunting them like a true heel pro wrestler.

Parlay point: Not really shocked here. This is a day and age where if you can talk, you can make a quick name & get some big fights. Bellator could use a huge star in the making & it could be Hager. Hager’s looked great in his 1st 2 fights, but the true test is going to be when he gets into the cage against more elite competition. All the promos in the world won’t matter then, his skill set will.

Next big fight on 221 was Douglas Lima vs Michael “Venom’ Page (MVP). Both fighters are entered into Bellator’s Welterweight (170lbs) Grand Prix tourney. MVP has been one of Bellator’s biggest names for his flashy striking & highlight reel fights (Google Cyborg-MVP) entering Saturday with a 14-0 record. Lima is no slouch by any means as a former welterweight champion. Lima knocked out Page in the 2nd rd to advance in the tourney. Lima now waits for the Rory MacDonald-Nieman Gracie winner on June 14th

Parlay Point: HOLY EFFF! LIMA KILLED HIM! MVP bought into his own hype and got humbled imo. Coming into the cage, MVP was loose & dancing. With a record of 14-0, he can’t be faulted for being confident, but anytime you see a fighter acting THAT loose walking in, it usually spells trouble. Last time I witnessed a fighter do the same thing was Allister Overeem vs Bigfoot Silva & looked what happened there. Lima waited & weathered a big barrage then TOOK MVP OUT with a devastating hook. Now the question is how/when does MVP recover to get back on track & can Lima carry this momentum further?

The main event had Lightweight champion Michael Chandler facing off against Featherweight champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for the 155 title. There has been history between Chandler & the Freire brothers (Chandler defeated Patricky Freire in 2011 & it’s built from there). Freire won via ref stoppage (strikes) in the 1st rd. Freire is now currently the 145 & 155lbs champion of Bellator.

Parlay Point: Definitely did NOT see this fight going that way. Say what you will, but the ref made the call to stop. Chandler might have been awake but wasn’t defending the 3 strikes thrown on the ground. Freire is running with the win, and who can blame him. At worst case scenario, when these two meet again….wait for the fireworks to happen! Not sure of immediate plans now for Freire. Maybe AJ McKee (who won over Pat Curran & is undefeated at 145lbs)? Maybe immediate rematch with Chandler? I heard talk he wants to box with Canelo Alverez….Out of those options, do the immediate rematch with Chandler imo. You want legacy? You want a big fight? it’s right there. Fighting with Alverez will be Conor-Mayweather 2.0. McKee is a maybe but for the promotion and storyline, it’s Chandler without question.

Bellator 221 has a great card & deserves some praise for the action. Hit me up on Twitter @ODParlayHour & let me know your thoughts on the card and was it better than UFC 237. Thanks for reading!

To Lesnar or NOT to Lesnar.....

Welcome back to the newly revamped version of Parlay Points, the blog section of the ODPH podcast. We’ve cleaned up navigation for you, the reader, so it will b easier foryou to find content you’re looking for. There’s also new columns set up for “NostraDAWGmous’ Eddie & a renewed focus on one of our most asked about topics: The ODPH Wrestling recap! Sit back, enjoy & Thank you for supporting the ODPH!

Now, let’s get right into things, shall we?

*UFC: ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Brock Lesnar has given notice to the UFC that he has retired & will NOT be facing Daniel Cormier in a superfight later this year. Cormier will now be facing former Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic on August 17th.

Parlay Point: Well, the drama is over in some degree and restarted in another. Lesnar’s return to the UFC has been much talked about ever since he showed up for the first Cormier-Miocic fight in July 2018 & was involved in a post fight incident with Cormier. Since this moment, it was heavily rumored that Lesnar would eventually fight Cormier in one of the most hyped up fights in recent memory. Now*, this is not happening.

I say this with an asterisk because until we get to August, anything is possible. Take a look at how many times Conor McGregor has “retired” only to come back & be thrown right into a high profile fight. I can fully see this being the case with Lesnar, but I hope that doesn’t happen. I’ve long said Miocic & his championship defense record has more than deserved an immediate rematch with Cormier & he now finally has it. This fight SHOULD have happened sooner but when one of the biggest pay-per-view draws wants to fight, the business aspect takes over followed by a long waiting game.

With this hurdle now out of the way, we, the fans, get the fight that makes the most sense. Let’s just hope there isn’t a tag out that the ref doesn’t see & we have to start this saga all over again. The belt needs to be defended and this is the fight it should happen in.

SPECIAL EDITION: INTERVIEW WITH BINGHAMTON BULLDOGS PRESIDENT JIM EVANS

Welcome to a special edition of the #ODPH podcast blog, “Parlay Points”. As you’ve heard mentioned on the podcast, the Binghamton Bulldogs are making another deep run in the ABA Basketball Playoffs.

The Bulldogs welcome the Worcester 78’s to “the Dawg Pound” for their last home game of the season this Saturday night:

March 23rd - 7:05pm - Davis College - 400 Riverside Dr, Johnson City, NY 13790. Ticket info: binghamtonbulldogs.com/tickets

with the winner advancing to face the Syracuse Stallions in the ABA East regional finals.

Jim Evans, the Binghamton Bulldogs president was gracious to grant us some time to have an interview with us before the big game

ODPH: The first year with the Bulldogs was a huge success. The 2017-2018 season brought a 20-win season with a deep run in the ABA Playoffs. Going into the 2nd season, what were some of the early expectations you had for the team?

JIM EVANS: After forming the roster we anticipated another terrific season. Getting leaders like CC and Ralph Bucci back, adding a player like Joel Patch from the start of the season and opening up the middle for Derek was a key focus for our roster as we tried to become a true 4 out/1 in team. 

ODPH: From a business standpoint, what were the biggest challenges/differences from last season to now?

EVANS: From a business standpoint - The venue change to Davis has been great - but tricky - and offers some parking challenges that it took some customers awhile to get used to. We also booked too many Sunday games, our turnout is much better on Friday nights and Saturday nights....But in the end our fan-base has adjusted and showed up nonetheless and has been tremendous. The fans love our players. 

ODPH: That being said, with those differences, how would you describe the 2018-19 season?

EVANS: Its been a dream come true. The team is playing at a very high level at playoff time and we are right where we want to be. 

ODPH: One notable story from this season has been the emergence of Chris Cartwright. Describe what he represents to the team & organization?

EVANS: Chris is our leader and has really turned into the face of our organization. He is a tremendous human being, he interacts with fans. On the court he is tough, hard-nosed and gritty - exactly what I want the Bulldogs to represent. 

ODPH: During the course of the season, there have been some changes to the roster. No bigger moves have impacted more than the additions of Jonny Marsh, Brandon Alexander & Caron Hill. Since their arrival to the Bulldogs, they’ve added a new energy to the team. No bigger game this showed than defeating Syracuse for the 1st time. How would you describe their impact on the team?


EVANS: Huge. Jonny and Brandon have been huge impacts scoring the basketball on our second unit and Caron has provided some more tough inside presence to go along with Mike Mccoy in our second group. That 2nd unit has dominated other 2nd units all season.  

ODPH: Is it official to say Syracuse is the Bulldogs’ true rival in the ABA? 

EVANS: Going into the season I would Scranton, but with Syracuse's success this year I feel safe saying yes they have morphed into our rival. 

ODPH: When we spoke last year, you said your favorite memory was defeating Jersey in the regional championship. Can we say this season (thus far) it was defeating Syracuse or is there another favorite moment of this year’s season?

EVANS: TBA on this answer - I have a strong feeling my favorite 2019 moment is yet to come. 

ODPH: This Saturday, The Worcester 78’s come into town. It’s the first time playing them in team history. Obviously, no game strategies will be given out here so describe what the crowd atmosphere and team’s mindset will be going into that game.

EVANS: We are expecting a sellout crowd. Worcester is a great team who plays the same way we do. They play 4-out/1-in. Very guard heavy with a couple strong inside post presences. that rotate in and out for each other. It should be a tremendous game. 

ODPH: Any Final thoughts/plugs/shout-outs to close out?

EVANS: Thanks to our fans who have been amazing all season in supporting our team....to our players for laying it all on the line every week....and to our media like the OPDH who does such a great job covering us! 

We can’t thank Jim Evans enough for the time to speak with the ODPH this week & wish the Bulldogs the best of luck for the rest of the ABA Playoffs. Thanks for reading!

For all things Binghamton Bulldogs (Like & Follow):

Webpage: BinghamtonBulldogs.com

Facebook: facebook.com/BinghamtonBulldogs

Instagram: instagram.com/binghamtonbulldogs

3.28.19.....Keep On Dancin'

Welcome back to another edition of Par;ay Points”, the ODPH podcast’s complimentary blog. Since brand new episodes dropped Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we waited for the latest blog…until now:

*MLB: It’s Opening Day for the 2019 season! The long road to October begins with some minor storylines (Machado & Harper hitless in their debuts after the long free agency drama, DeGrom duels with Scherzer after signing his extension with the Mets, Dodgers set a record for HR’s on opening day & more)!

Parlay Points: “NostraDAWGmous” Eddie is due for a season preview blog over the weekend. It’s always an exciting time when Baseball comes back around.

*NFL: The Philadelphia Eagles traded for Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard. The Bears received a 2020 NFL Draft pick in the move.

Parlay Point: Philly addressed a huge need for their offense. Their running game was sorely lacking in the 2019 seasons, mostly due to injured players. As for the Bears, losing Howard can be perceived as a shocking move. He has always produced since entering the lead. The Bears must have felt they needed a change in their ground game & The Eagles look to benefit HUGE from this move.

*MMA: UFC 239 had it’s main events announced. Light Heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones is scheduled to fight Thiago Santos & “Champ Champ” Amanda Nunes defends her Bantaweight (135lb) belt against former champ Holly Holm. UFC 239 is set for Las Vegas during International Fight week

Parlay Point: Jones defending the 205 belt is the right move for him at this time. The heavyweight picture is a bit blurry so making the jump up wouldn’t be in his favor right now IMO. As for Nunes-Holm, absolutely LOVE this fight. Arguably the 2 best strikers in Womens’ MMA are gonna put on one heck of a fight. Don’t Blink

LOCAL MINUTE:

*AHL HOCKEY: The Streak is OVER! The Binghamton Devils finally scored a win (1st in 11 games). They defeated Laval 5-1 on Wednesday night. John Ramage had 2 goals for the Devils in the much needed win. The B-Devs are bck in town Friday vs. Springfield. For more info.: BinghamtonDevils.com

**MOVIES: Various reports have tagged Angelina Jolie having discussions about possibly joining “Marvel’s The Eternals” movie project.

Parlay Point: IMO, Jolie would be a great addition to the cast, & safest bet is she would be playing Sersi. The Eternals will be a big movie that could really benefit from Jolie’s star power. The characters are an interesting choice for a movie, but then again, so were the Guardians of the Galaxy too

That’s alll for now, but we at the ODPH want to give a shout out to Xcite Wresting, who have a HUGE pro-wrestling show this Friday night. If you’re a fan of AEW, ROH, Impact wrestling & more indy feds, then this show is for you. More Info: Xcitewrestling.com

That’s all for now. Check out the latest Podcast episodes (& our new distributors: Acast & TuneIn)!

Thanks for reading!