Hoops and Horses: NBA Playoff Push, Ready to Roll at Oaklawn


If you like betting both basketball and horse racing, you've come to the right place!

Each week in Hoops and Horses you'll find analysis and key basketball bets from The Action Network's BlackJack Fletcher plus racing picks from Jose Contreras.

BlackJack Fletcher is a senior gambling  analyst for The Action Network. He studies and breaks down gambling angles from all sports and delivers consistent winners. For all of BlackJack’s plays visit http://myaction.app/blackjackfletch.

Handicapper Jose Contreras is an analyst for horse racing network TVG and a regular contributor to America's Best Racing.

Get this week's picks below, and be sure to check back for new selections each week. Happy betting!


This Saturday, we are eyeing a three-team money line NBA parlay. We want to target teams that are still playing for something – mainly teams that are still jockeying for playoff position. This should incentivize them to play hard against lesser foes. I think we’ve got three good ones here.

Boston Celtics ML (hosting the Atlanta Hawks on March 16): The Celtics are hitting their stride at the right time. After struggling most of the season, Gordon Hayward is playing his best basketball of the season. Kyrie Irving is also stepping up as more of a leader. Furthermore, they’re at home against the lowly Hawks. This should be a “W” for the Celtics.

Denver Nuggets ML (hosting the Indiana Pacers on March 16): While the Pacers have been surprisingly good since Victor Oladipo went down earlier this year, Denver is in another league. The Nuggets are a top five team in the NBA. Also, Denver is an incredibly tough place to play on the road. Back the Nuggets to finish off the Pacers.

Utah Jazz ML (hosting the Brooklyn Nets on March 16): Similar to Denver, Utah plays in a tough building for a young team like Brooklyn to go on the road and win in. Also, the Jazz are fighting for playoff seeding anywhere between 6-8. There is real incentive in avoiding Golden State in round one. Look for Utah to win decisively over the upstart Nets.


For this series, I will be looking for one key horse to single in a Pick 3 in hopes of cashing a profitable exotic wager. The budget will be in the $20 range and I will keep track of ROI each week. This week’s key horse:

This week’s key horse:

Saturday, March 16

Oaklawn Park, Race 9, $350,000 Essex Handicap, 6:29 p.m. ET

#8 Giant Expectations: He finally broke with the field but he found himself dueling for a fast pace and would finish a clear third in the San Pasqual. Three starts back he put up a giant effort while finishing third in the Ack Ack after a terrible start. He’s got plenty of back class and I think he’s ready to fire a big effort in his second start of the year.

$1 Pick 3 ticket:

Race 7: 1,2,4,5,6

Race 8: 1,2,8,9

Race 9: 8

Total: $20

Total Wagered: $120

Total Returned: $130.10

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