Saturday’s betting tips: Mets' knuckler worried about weather

Weather to watch

Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles: Early forecasts predict up to 20 mph winds blowing in from left-centerfield.

Who’s hot

NBA: Boston is 5-0-2 against the spread in its last seven overall.

NBA: The over is 17-7 in Minnesota’s last 24 road games.

NHL: Vancouver has won seven of its last eight.

NHL: New Jersey has won five straight.

MLB: Toronto is 10-4 in Brandon Morrow’s last 14 starts.

Who’s not

NBA: Orlando has dropped five straight against the spread.

NBA: Sacramento is 2-7 against the spread in its last nine.

NHL: Dallas has lost four in a row.

NHL: The New York Islanders are 1-5 in their last six trips to Columbus.

MLB: The over is 2-10-1 in the Chicago Cubs’ last 13.

Key stat

2.50 – Colorado Rockies starter Jamie Moyer was 2-1 with a sparkling 2.50 ERA in Cactus League play. The 49-year-old was 9-9 with the Phillies last season after coming back from elbow surgery and also tossed a pair of complete games. Moyer and the Rockies opened as -120 favorites at Houston.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Kyle Farnsworth, Tampa Bay Rays - Farnsworth is looking at an extended stay on the 15-day disabled list. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Farnsworth will likely need four to six weeks of rest for his ailing elbow to heal. Farnsworth, who will turn 36 on April 14, had 25 saves and went 5-1 with a 2.18 ERA as Tampa Bay's closer last year. The Rays are expected to use a closer-by-committee system until Farnsworth returns.

Game of the day


Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies (-3.5, 183)

Notable quotable

"It can sometimes be a problem. When it's too cold, the balls feel different in your hands. It's like feeling a pool ball, almost. It's hard to make it do what you want it to do." - New York Mets starter R.A. Dickey about throwing his knuckleball in cool April conditions. The Mets are set as -105 favorites against Atlanta with Dickey starting Saturday. A high of 54 degrees is expected in New York with 16 mph winds blowing in from right field.

Notes and tips

The Baltimore Orioles have named righthander Jim Johnson as their closer. Johnson will take the place of Kevin Gregg, who served as the closer last year. The 28-year-old Johnson was 6-5 with a 2.67 ERA and nine saves in 14 opportunities last season. Gregg will serve as the setup man or in a variety of roles, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. In 2011, Gregg was 0-3 with a 4.37 ERA and seven blown saves in 29 chances.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has been ruled for the season finale against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Toews has missed the last 21 games because of a concussion. "I'm still keeping that confidence and that positive outlook that things are going to go the right way," Toews said after practice Friday, "that I will be ready for next week." The Blackhawks have gone 12-5-4 in Toews' absensce.

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard signed a waiver not to opt out of his contract only after the team threatened to deal him to the Los Angeles Lakers. The New York Post, citing league sources, reported that the Magic had a deal in place with the New Jersey Nets one day before the trade deadline. Howard had waffled back and forth on whether to sign the opt-out waiver and would have become an unrestricted free agent had he failed to do so. According to the newspaper, the Magic told Howard he would be traded to the Lakers "by the end of the day" if he balked at signing the waiver.

Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth is scheduled for a doctor's appointment after he was hurt in Thursday night's win over the Florida Panthers. Neuvirth suffered a lower-body injury when his left leg bent, leaving Braden Holtby as the only healthy netminder for Saturday's regular-season finale against the New York Rangers. Tomas Vokoun, who is dealing with a groin injury, is listed as day-to-day, according to Capitals coach Dale Hunter. The team is waiting to hear the results of Neuvirth's exam before deciding whether to call up another goalie from the minors.

Updated odds to win the Masters:

RORY McILROY            3/1
LEE WESTWOOD            6/1
PHIL MICKELSON          8/1
BUBBA WATSON           12/1
SERGIO GARCIA          12/1
JASON DUFNER           15/1
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN       15/1
FRED COUPLES           20/1
MATT KUCHAR            20/1
NICK WATNEY            25/1
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ   40/1
TIGER WOODS            40/1
PAUL LAWRIE            50/1
AARON BADDELEY         50/1
HENRIK STENSON         50/1
HUNTER MAHAN           50/1
JUSTIN ROSE            50/1
CHARLES HOWELL III     60/1
VIJAY SINGH            60/1
PETER HANSON           60/1
BEN CRANE              80/1
GARY WOODLAND          80/1
JIM FURYK              80/1
ADAM SCOTT             80/1
FIELD (all others)     10/1

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