We have another big sports weekend ahead. The NBA conference finals series are coming down to the wire, while the Stanley Cup Final features games on both Friday and Saturday. We also have a full weekend of European and MLS soccer, college and pro football, and the conclusion of the Major League Baseball regular season.
As a bettor, what more could you want? BetOnline is offering their usual odds boosts ahead of Friday’s action. Which boosted odds are worth your attention? Let’s dig in.
MLB: Yankees and Mets BOTH To Win (+300)
The New York Yankees have clinched a spot in the upcoming playoffs, while the New York Mets are still in the hunt. The Mets are one of a gaggle of teams still alive for the last National League playoff spots, but their chances of getting in are incredibly slim.
Following back-to-back losses to the Blue Jays, the Yanks will be back in action Friday with JA Happ on the hill against Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins. Miami isn’t the pushover they have been in recent years, as ESPN’s odds give the Marlins a 90 percent chance to nab one of those final NL playoff positions.
The Yankees are -186 moneyline favorites with Happ on the mound at home tonight. The lefty has allowed just seven earned runs in over 24 innings of work so far this month, and he has lowered his ERA to 3.25 on the year.
The Mets will have Rick Porcello on the mound against the Washington Nationals, who counter with Max Scherzer. Washington has been a disappointment this year, but the Nats are going to be favored any time their ace gets a start. The Nats are sizable -140 favorites behind Mad Max.
MLB: Dodgers, Athletics, and Twins ALL To Win (+310)
The Dodgers don’t have anything left to play for, but they did just take two of three from the Oakland A’s. Los Angeles will remain at Dodger Stadium this weekend to play the Freeway Series against an Angels team still technically alive in the AL postseason hunt.
The Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw on the bump Friday night to make his final tune-up start before the playoffs.
The Halos counter with a solid lefty of their own in Andrew Heaney. The Dodgers are massive -199 favorites as of this writing, but I’d wait to see what kind of lineup Dave Roberts puts out before going in on this. With nothing to play for, don’t be surprised if he rests some of his regulars this weekend.
The A’s will return home to face a Mariners team that is also still jockeying for a playoff spot. Seattle has been playing a bit over their heads of late, and Oakland is a heavy -201 home moneyline favorite tonight with Chris Bassitt facing Yusei Kikuchi.
Bassitt isn’t much more than an average pitcher, while Kikuchi has quietly improved this sesaon. Kikuchi was a disaster last year as a rookie, but this year he has improved his strikeout rate to nearly 25 percent with a ground ball rate north of 52 percent. That combination doesn’t make him an easy matchup for an A’s lineup that has been scuffling lately.
The Twins are a game ahead of the White Sox for the lead in the American League Central, and Minnesota will play host to the Cincinnati Reds this weekend. Jose Berrios will pitch Friday night, and Minnesota is at -143 to win the game outright, according to BetOnline. The Reds will have right-hander Tyler Mahle on the mound.
NBA: Celtics to Win AND Over 213.5 Points (+300)
The Heat can officially book their tickets to the NBA Finals with a win on Friday night. They won’t have to go far, of course, but oddsmakers are still buying the Celtics. Boston is a 3.5-point favorite again in Friday’s Game 5 despite entering with a 3-1 deficit in the series.
Every single game in this series has been incredibly close. Miami’s wins have come by margins of three, five, and three points, while the Celtics’ lone victory was an 11-point affair that wound up being closer than the final score indicates. Through four games, the cumulative score between the teams is amazingly tied, 441-441.
The fact that the teams have played to a draw means the fact that the Celtics are already facing elimination is some pretty bad variance. This series should probably be 2-2, at worst. Boston was the better team during the regular season, which is presumably why oddsmakers keep siding with the Celts.
The teams have combined to score 231, 207, 223, and 213 points through the first four contests.
What’s The Best Bet?
I thought the Celtics would win the Eastern Conference, so the fact that they’ve found themselves in a deep hole is obviously a surprise. They’re fully capable of digging out of it, though, and we have seen teams overcome 3-1 deficits already in these playoffs. While I do like Boston to climb to within a game of Miami tonight, the over is still a tough nut to crack.
I’d lean toward betting the over on 213.5, so taking the NBA boost at +300 does offer nice value tonight.
I’ll pass on Yankees/Mets BOTH to win at +300, just because the Mets are up against Max Scherzer. The Nationals are 1-1 in Scherzer’s starts against the Mets this season, but in one of those games he left injured after the first inning. The very next outing, he shut them down to the tune of just one earned run allowed in six innings of work.
There is better value on banking on the three-way MLB result with the Dodgers, Twins, and Athletics ALL to win at +310. You need three games to go your way, of course, but all of these teams are in good spots. I’m wary of the Dodgers’ lineup tonight, but Kershaw should still be good enough to put the Dodgers in position to win the game.
Kikuchi has improved, but the A’s righty-heavy lineup profiles well against lefties. Minnesota has Berrios on the mound, and they have enough quality left-handed hitters in their own lineup to do plenty of damage against the wide splits of the Reds’ Tyler Mahle.
The three-way MLB result at +310 is viable tonight, but my favorite option is the NBA boost. Bet on the Celtics to win and the over on 213.5 points at +300.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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