The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing, while the Major League Baseball season is already entering its playoff stretch run. 2020 is weird. Anyway, we’ve got another full slate of action on Friday, which means you have countless sports betting options at your disposal.
The NBA brings a pair of highly-anticipated playoff games. The Bucks will look to climb out of their 0-2 hole against the Miami Heat, while the Rockets and Lakers will square off in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series. The baseball schedule features a whopping 20 games, including a number of teams playing doubleheaders. Today is really a bettor’s dream, isn’t it?
To make things better, the good folks at BetOnline are also offering a few boosted odds that make things a little more interesting. Let’s take a look at the boosts and try to figure out which is worth a wager.
MLB: Mets, Indians and White Sox ALL to Win (+450)
The Cleveland Indians will have ace Carlos Carrasco on the mound at home tonight against the Brewers, while the White Sox will have young right-hander Dane Dunning taking the ball in Kansas City. Cleveland is listed as a sizable -142 home favorite on the moneyline at BetOnline.ag, while Chicago is at -166 despite being on the road. The New York Mets will throw Rick Porcello to the mound against Jake Arrieta and the Phillies.
This is a sneaky-difficult spot for the Tribe, though. The Brewers will have Corbin Burnes on the mound, who has quietly looked like one of the best young pitchers in baseball this season. Burnes has a strikeout rate north of 35 percent, and the Indians’ lineup has struggled to get things going on a consistent basis all year.
Ladies and gentlemen, Corbin Burnes.
6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K tonight versus the Pirates. Now a 2.78 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 32.1 IP this season. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
The GIF is only fitting. pic.twitter.com/Lks00U2s7J
— Prospects 365 ⚾️ (@Prospects365) August 29, 2020
The White Sox are a justifiable favorite against Brady Singer and the Royals. Singer is a decent prospect with pedigree in his own right, but Kansas City’s lineup has almost zero power these days. Things get worse for the Royals if Jorge Soler, who left Wednesday’s game with a back injury, misses another game again tonight. The White Sox’ power bats should have little difficulty with Singer, so I do like Chicago to hold up its end of the bargain tonight.
I’m not a fan of either Porcello or Arrieta, but the Mets have the advantage here. Arrieta has struggled mightily against left-handed hitters over the past couple of years, and New York can throw five capable lefties his way with Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, and Michael Conforto. The Mets are sizable -130 favorites against a past-his-prime pitcher in Arrieta.
MLB: Dodgers and Giants BOTH to Win (+180)
The Dodgers are 29-10 on the season, and they have clearly established themselves as World Series favorites. It helps that Los Angeles seemingly gets to pick on weak divisional opponents every night, and tonight is no exception with the Colorado Rockies coming to town. The Dodgers have the highest implied run total of any team on the schedule today (5.71) against Antonio Senzatela. On a related note, Los Angeles is a -233 favorite on the moneyline.
The Giants, meanwhile, will host the Diamondbacks in San Francisco. Tyler Anderson will be making his third consecutive start against Arizona, while the D-Backs will counter with Taylor Clarke. The Giants are -129 favorites as of this writing, though any time a pitcher faces the same offense several times in a row, the hitters tend to have the upper hand.
NBA: Bucks and Rockets BOTH to Win (+450)
Milwaukee has looked downright defeated through their first couple of games against Miami, and their loss in Game 2 on a buzzer-beating foul call was particularly cruel. Mike Budenholzer has simply been out-coached by Erik Spoelstra so far in this series, which has left the NBA’s best regular-season team looking vulnerable.
Unless Budenholzer makes some serious adjustments, Milwaukee is going to have a difficult time overcoming this series deficit. You have to think the Bucks get a win at some point in this series, though, and oddsmakers aren’t bailing on them quite yet. The Bucks are 5-point favorites for tonight’s Game 3, and they’re listed at -207 to pick up the win on the moneyline.
Mike Budenholzer every postseason pic.twitter.com/8XTRRv8cQ6
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) September 1, 2020
The Rockets got past the Thunder in a hard-fought Game 7 on Wednesday, and tonight they’ll have to face a well-reste Lakers team that hasn’t played since knocking the Blazers out of the playoffs last Saturday. While Los Angeles is a heavy favorite to win the series, I do think the Rockets match up better with LA than they did with Oklahoma City. The Lakers don’t have any strong individual defenders capable of slowing down James Harden and/or Russell Westbrook, which could mean this series is more competitive than some might expect.
The Lakers are 6-point favorites, while Houston is at +227 on the moneyline.
NBA: Lakers to Win AND Over 225.5 Points (+300)
If you’re on the Lakers side of this bet, you can combine a victory with the over on 225.5 points at attractive +300 odds. The spread for this game is a little close considering Houston had just one day of rest, but clearly oddsmakers have the same matchup concerns for the Lakers that I do.
Houston won two of the three regular-season meetings with the Lakers, including two games since Clint Capela was traded to Atlanta and Houston went all-in on the small-ball approach. The teams combined to score 229, 232, and 210 points in their three regular-season meetings, though it’s worth noting the Lakers rested several regulars in their most recent head-to-head matchup last month.
What’s The Best Bet?
The Mets-Indians-White Sox three-way result offers the most value at +450, but you obviously need a lot to go your way. Baseball is an inherently random sport, but I do like all three teams to pick up Ws tonight. The diciest bet of the bunch is Cleveland against Corbin Burnes, but I do think Carlos Carrasco is also fully capable of stifling a watered-down Brewers lineup.
The Dodgers look like a near-lock to beat Senzatela and the Rockies tonight, while Giants-Diamondbacks is basically a toss-up. There isn’t a ton of upside in the +180 odds here, so I would prefer to shoot for the moon given the +450 number you can get on the aforementioned three-way result.
Rockets-Bucks at +450 is also interesting, but both teams have a lot working against them tonight. Houston has a big rest disadvantage, while the Bucks have looked out-of-sorts against a well-prepared Heat squad. It’s tempting, but I think I’ll have to pass on this one.
The Lakers have been one of the best defensive teams in basketball all year long, while the Rockets have really stepped things up in that regard in these playoffs. This game could be somewhat ugly, especially given the shooting woes both teams have endured since the season restarted. I’m not sold on the over on 225.5 points, which has me backing away from the Lakers/over bet at +300.
Mets-Indians-White Sox ALL to win at +450 is the play.
$100 Could Win You…$550
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 …