If you have friends/family that root for N.Y. City sports teams, have some empathy for them because it has been a rough week in the Betting odds for the Big Apple. Let's recap 4 of the teams.
The Bombers got a needed day off Thursday as they were swept in a two-game series in Washington to start this week and have lost seven of eight overall to see their lead in the incredibly mediocre AL East evaporate. To make matters worse, the Yankees lost arguably their most important player in center fielder and leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury. The guy is good player when healthy but he's assured a disabled list stint at least once a season it seems, and he's on there now. Ellsbury left Tuesday's loss to the Nationals in the fourth inning with a right knee sprain. He leads the team with a .324 average and .412 on-base percentage and is tops in the American League with 14 steals and fourth in runs with 29. The team hopes Ellsbury is out for only the minimum time. In their first game without Ellsbury, the Yankees managed only two runs in Wednesday's loss to the Nationals. They have scored two or fewer runs in six of their past seven defeats. Brett Gardner moved to leadoff Wednesday, while Chris Young and Slade Heathcott (great name) will platoon in center. New York opens a three-game home series with Texas on Friday as a -183 favorite on MLB odds behind Michael Pineda.
What has happened to Henrik Lundqvist? The former Vezina Trophy winner and certainly one of the best goalies of his era has been turned into mincemeat by the high-scoring Tampa Bay Lightning. They put six goals on King Henrik in winning Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden on Monday night and then again in Game 3 in Tampa on Wednesday to grab a 2-1 series lead. Lundqvist allowed a really soft goal early in overtime of Game 3. He is the first Rangers goalie to allow six goals in back-to-back playoff games since Gump Worsley in 1958. This may not be a fluke as Lundqvist was 0-3 against the Lightning during the regular season with a goals-against average of 4.74 and save percentage of .823. Those were his worst numbers against any team he faced at least twice. Would the Blueshirts actually think about Cam Talbot if Lundqvist struggles early Friday? The Rangers are +113 underdogs on NHL odds and now +190 series dogs.
The Knickerbockers were the big losers in Tuesday's draft lottery, sliding from No. 2 to No. 4 in a draft where there are two prospects who stand above the rest in scouts' eyes: big men Jahlil Okafor (Duke) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky). Neither will play in New York other than as a visitor. The reaction of Knicks GM Steve Mills on the telecast of the lottery was priceless when he learned the team had fallen. Now the Knicks are likely to take either high school point guard Emmanuel Mudiay or trade out of the pick. Maybe Mudiay becomes the best player in the draft but probably the least is known about him because he passed up college and went to China for a year. All you need to know about the competition there is that former Knick Stephon Marbury is the best player in the top-level Chinese Basketball Association.
Big Blue didn't have any official workouts or anything this week yet it suffered a major injury when starting left tackle Will Beatty tore his pectoral muscle while lifting weights and already has had surgery. He will miss 5-6 months, which would mean a large chunk of the upcoming season. Last year, Beatty was the team's top lineman and Pro Football Focus rated him as the 11th-best left tackle in the NFL, with a +13 overall rating. He started every game after breaking his leg in the 2013 season finale. He's good pass blocker but not great in the running game. The Giants did take Miami (Fla.) tackle Ereck Flowers with the No. 9 overall pick in last month's draft, but he's a bit raw and the Giants wanted to start him on the right side. Now he might have to protect Eli Manning's blindside -- or it could be Justin Pugh, keeping Flowers on the right -- and that's generally not a good thing as a rookie. The Giants open the season at Dallas and are 5.5-point underdogs on NFL odds. New York is a +350 third-favorite to win the NFC East.