We’ve got quite the sports day on tap for Wednesday. We have a record eight Major League Baseball playoff games scattered throughout the day, as well as Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.
There are games happening all day long, so get your popcorn ready. BetOnline has a fresh batch of odds boosters for you to take advantage of, as well. Which bets are worth your time today?
The Padres will be playing their first playoff game since 2006 this afternoon against the Cardinals. Chris Paddack, who has endured his fair share of struggles this season, will get the ball for San Diego opposite Cardinals rookie lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim.
Kim has an impressive ERA in the 1.60 range, but his SIERA of 5.00 suggests he has been the beneficiary of some good fortune. Kim’s strikeout rate is down under 16 percent, so a matchup with a powerful, righty-heavy Padres lineup isn’t ideal for a guy that relies on generating contact to get his outs.
Paddack’s SIERA is about a full run lower than his ERA, which tells us he’s been a bit unlucky. The Cardinals don’t have a particularly imposing lineup, and the Padres are sizable -159 moneyline favorites at home.
The Yankees, fresh off of last night’s 12-3 beatdown of the Indians, will look to advance to the ALDS tonight with another win. Masahiro Tanaka will oppose Carlos Carrasco. While the pitching matchup pretty clearly favors Cleveland, BetOnline.ag is siding with the mighty Yankee offense in this one. New York is a -123 road favorite after demolishing the presumptive AL Cy Young winner, Shane Bieber, last night.
The Dodgers (-217) are the biggest favorites of the day, and with good reason. Los Angeles has Walker Buehler on the mound tonight against a Brewers team that is fortunate to have qualified for the playoffs. The Brewers will be going with a bullpen game, with Brent Suter getting the start in Game 1.
Bullpen games tend to be tricky for opposing offenses, but it’s tough to see how a weak, strikeout-heavy Brewers team will be able to do much damage against a guy like Buehler. The Dodgers have been the best team in baseball this season, while Milwaukee finished the season with a sub-.500 record.
Nobody really expected the Heat to come out of the Eastern Conference, but that’s exactly what happened. Miami really had no trouble getting through the first three rounds, with a cumulative record of 12-3 against Indiana, Milwaukee, and Boston. Their dethroning of a heavily-favored Bucks team in the second round put everyone on notice, and they kept on chugging through a Celtics team that became the favorites after Milwaukee was eliminated.
Hot streaks aren’t real, but the Heat are just a solid, well-coached team that seems to be gelling at the perfect time.
Jimmy Butler is the “superstar” of the team, but he’s really just a glorified role player with Miami.
Bam Adebayo has quietly become one of the best two-way centers in basketball. Tyler Herro is a 20-year-old budding star that clearly isn’t afraid of the moment. Goran Dragic is playing the best basketball of his career. Duncan Robinson may be the league’s best shooter this side of Stephen Curry.
There is a lot to like about this Heat bunch. The Lakers are favored to win the series, and rightfully so, but Miami is attracting quite a bit of attention from the betting public. The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas shifted the Lakers’ title odds from -450 to -360 within a day of the line opening because so many wagers were coming in on the Heat.
The Lakers have been installed as 5.5-point favorites to win Game 1, which sounds about right. The Lakers were consistently favored over the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, while the Heat were underdogs in every one of their six games against the Celtics.
Miami is the No. 5 seed in the East, while the Lakers were the top seed out West. The Heat are clearly no ordinary fifth seed, but the Lakers have been among the odds-on title favorites for over a year now. It’s no surprise that a team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis is here.
The opponent is a surprise, of course. Both of these teams have been among the best in the league against the spread all year, too. The Heat have gone 48-32-2 ATS, while LA is at 45-39-2.
The Heat have been one of the best “over” bets in the league (51-35-2), while Los Angeles is just 41-45 on an over/under basis.
As usual, I’ll be passing on the NBA spread/over combination. The under has been a much more profitable bet since the NBA playoffs started, and this 217.5 total is actually a bit high compared to what we saw for both conference finals series. There could be some jitters on both sides tonight with this being the first game of the Finals, so I’m not too keen on the Lakers covering 5.5 points plus the over at +325.
Miami to win the title at the same +325 odds is interesting enough. Nobody has been able to solve the Heat to this point, and you can pretty easily make the argument that these Lakers are the worst team to come out of the Western Conference in the last decade.
LA hasn’t exactly been convincing despite just three playoff losses thus far, so Miami coming away with the title in this matchup isn’t a crazy notion at all.
However, the best option here is betting on the three-way baseball result at +375. The Padres have a clear edge over an overrated Cardinals team. St. Louis looked fatigue over the past few weeks after having to play a number of doubleheaders in the last month of the season, and the Padres match up very well against the Cardinals’ Game 1 starter, Kwang-Hyun Kim.
The Dodgers are clear-cut favorites in a pitching mismatch against the Brewers. The Yankees going up against Carlos Carrasco gives me the most pause here, but it’s still easy to see why they’re moneyline favorites tonight. I’d grab the Padres, Yankees, and Dodgers ALL to win at +375.
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