I don’t want the NBA Finals to end tonight. Not because I have a future with a Celtics title, but because I’m looking forward to an epic sports Sunday. Imagine: we will spend Sunday watching the US Open summing up (follow all updates here) in the early evening, and then when it’s over, we can move on to Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
A Sunday without football is not much better than for a sports fan.
So as you sit on the couch tonight to watch the NBA Finals, you root for the Celtics with all your heart. Even you Warriors fans. Put the welfare of sports fans across the country ahead of your personal desires. I mean, wouldn’t you rather win the series at home?
Come on Celtics. Go to America. Walk on Sundays. Go read these stories.
Okay, now go ahead and place those bets.
All times ET and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
Warriors v Celtics, 21:00 | TV: ABC
- Key trend: Under 87-60 in games 6 and 7 of the NBA playoff series since 2010.
- Choice: up to 210.5 (-110)
The Celtics broke me. My numbers are my numbers and I still believe in them, but Boston let me down too easily in the last two games. In particular, the fifth game was too far away. My future with the Celtics title (+5000) now hangs in the balance.
I think Boston will win today, but I will not spend money on it. Instead, I’m looking for a tried and true NBA playoff betting strategy: bet less in games 6 and 7. I’ve been through this before: the later you get into the series, the fewer games you score. Each team knows everything the other is trying to do, and there are few surprises.
Since the 2010 playoffs, it’s under 87-60 in games 6 and 7 of the series. This season 8-4. Given that these are already two strong defensive teams, the increase in intensity could result in a particularly ugly game tonight.
Here is what SportsLine writes about the game: The Projection Model doesn’t see much value tonight, but SportsLine experts Matt Severance and Mike Barner are both playing tonight..
Race at the Yankees, 07:05 pm | TV: MLB.TV
Tampa Bay Rays +150
Choice: Beams (+210) — In the NBA Finals, I rely on the old principle, so why not apply it to the diamond? We have many different factors at play here tonight. First, the Races have long been one of the best Major League Baseball teams to bet on as underdogs. Today they are underdogs against the Yankees, but not any Yankee team.
The Yankees are always a little overrated due to their large, obnoxious (hello Nick, editor of this newsletter!) fan base. Add that they’ve won six in a row and have the best record in baseball? That’s when things start to get really stupid and it’s a stupid price for both teams tonight. The Yankees are the best team and they will win more often than not, but the Rays have +210!
They are 35-27 and we buy them at Pittsburgh Pirates prices!
Key trend: The Rays have won 13 of their last 19 at Yankee Stadium.
Rangers vs Tigers, 19:10 | TV: MLB.TV
Choice: greater than 8.5 (-105) — I complained endlessly about how bad my White Sox were, but the Sox had just beaten Detroit and outscored them 27-6 in three games. While Detroit’s pitching is simply inadequate, it has one of the worst offenses I’ve ever seen. They rank last in mileage (points scored/plate performance) at 7.70% and the next worst team is Oakland… at 9.08%. Detroit has wRC+ 70 and Oakland has 79.
They are not just bad, they are exceptionally bad.
So let’s bet more! We don’t need many rides from Detroit tonight and the weather in Detroit will help us with that. Plus, while Texas starter Martin Perez has an ERA of 2.18, his base numbers suggest it’s not sustainable. Finally, Detroit’s bullpen is now toasted. The pen’s overall ERA of 3.11 ranks sixth in baseball, but the same pen had position players pitching for the last three innings on Wednesday because the pen was overloaded. I wouldn’t be surprised if we win this bet before the end of the fifth inning.
Key trend: Over 7-1-1 in Texas’ last nine road games.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Looking for a sweat to end Thursday night? The top-rated SportsLine Projection game of the day is the money line game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels..
NBA Finals Player Props
- GSW Klay Thompson Over 5.5 rebounds and assists (-110)
- BOS Markus Smart over 5.5 assists (+110)
- BOS Robert Williams Over 18.5 points, rebounds and assists (-120)