It’s another great sports weekend, and we have your guide to all the essentials, from the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the finals of the Eastern and Western Conference in the NBA, to horse racing and UFC Fight Night and playing a lot of golf at the PGA Championship.
For international taste there is a last weekend with high commitment from the English Premier League with a title on the line, and the first round of the French Open by Roland Garros.
And what’s Sunday night without some baseball? With so many games to watch, there are plenty of opportunities to place some bets along the way, so we’ve been covering you all weekend with the best of our best bets.
All lines are from Caesars Sportsbook except as noted
Friday night’s schedule
The schedule of Sunday
New York Rangers @ Carolina Hurricanes
East Second Round, Game 2, 8 pm, PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina, ESPN
Line: Hurricanes (-175), Rangers (+150)
Puck Line: Hurricanes -1.5 (+150), Rangers +1.5 (-175)
Over / Under: 5.5 (-105 / -115)
Greg Wyshynski: It took just over 40 minutes in Game 1 for the Carolina Hurricanes to play to their identity: play, control hard and dominate in shot attempts. Once they did, the game was tipped: 29-10 advantage of shot effort, 17-6 advantage of scoring chances and, most importantly, a 2-0 goal lead in the third period and extra time for the win. As good as the finish was, they had a bad start. Game 1 marked the first time in the playoffs that Carolina lost the first period. I can not see it happening twice in a row at home, when the Hurricanes scored in the first period in 5 of 7 games against the Boston Bruins in Round 1. We play it safe with a money line bet, but you would being out of line pushes it to a first-period puck line wager for a little more profitability.
Choose: Carolina 1st Period Currency Line (-150)
Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors
WCF Game 2, 9 pm, Chase Center, San Francisco, TNT
Line: Warriors (-6.0)
Moneyline: Warriors (-260), Mavericks (+210)
Over / Under: 214
Anita Marks: Dallas had one of its worst shooting nights of the postseason (36%) and an uncharacteristic night of Luka Doncic. While the Splash Brothers had a strong third quarter, Andrew Wiggins was the X factor. Wiggins had 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and was equally important on the defensive side of the court with Doncic. Seven Warriors scored double figures, which shows their deep advantage. I see a lot of the same in Game 2. With home-court advantage, better depth and Wiggins’ value, I’ll lay the points, play the bottom, and expect another great night of Wiggins at both ends of the court.
Picks: Warriors (-6.0), Under 214 points, Wiggins over 22.5 points + assists + rebounds
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames
West Second Round Game 2, 10:30 pm, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, ESPN
Line: Flames (-175), Oilers (+150)
Puck Line: Flames -1.5 (+145), Oilers +1.5 (-170)
Over / Under: 6.5 (-125 / + 105)
Greg Wyshynski: I’m not sure the books really know how to handle this series after what we saw in Game 1. Maybe there’s a feeling that both Mike Smith and Jacob Markstrom are returning and turning Game 2 into a defensive battle . I think there’s a better chance that the Battle of Alberta remains a cuckoo banana 1980s style goal fixed with the team posting Canadian Football League scores. The Flames have surpassed their expected total in three of the past four games.
Choose: Calgary over 3.5 goals total team (-120)
PGA Championship 3rd round
Southern Hills Country Club, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Tulsa, Oklahoma, ESPN / ESPN +
Leader to round 1: Rory McIlroy (-5)
Friday morning tournament favorites: McIlroy (+300), Justin Thomas (+400), Will Zalatoris (+1000), Cameron Smith (+1100), Xander Schauffele (+1400)
David Bearman: I play both Thomas and Rory McIlroy, but I give Thomas the advantage of winning based on his overall work this season. McIlroy had an incredible Sunday at Augusta last month, but Thomas has better tackle stats and has been consistent throughout the season.
Choose: Justin Thomas wins (+400)
Phoenix Mercury @ Las Vegas Aces
3 pm, ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas, ABC
Line: Aces (-10.5)
Moneyline: Aces (-600), Lynx (+425)
Over / Under: 169.5
Trend: Home teams favored by more than 7 points are 4-3 against the spread entering Friday night’s action. – Kyle Soups
147th Preakness Stakes
7:01 pm, Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland, NBC
Favorites: Episentrum (6-5), Early Voting (7-2), Secret Oath (9-2), Rest of Odds
Chris Fallica: Epicenter was the horse to defeat in Louisville and is the horse to defeat here. Only a complete space meltdown and a lot of racing luck made him defeated by a hopeless long shot. It’s really about how well he came out of the race. But I do not think he would be here if he did not come out of the race well. Feels like a race with little confirmation for the best 3-year-old in the game. He can go to the front if he wants to, or just sit off Early Voting or Armagnac if he wants a goal to run on. And being drawn out helps that strategy. He will be a key to every place in my trifecta, heavier weight to the win and places. And if we press it a few times and get something other than the second or third choice in the other exact place, then it must be a nice payoff.
Colorado Avalanche @ St. Louis Blues
West Second Round Game 3, 8 pm, Enterprise Center, St. Louis, TNT
Line: Avalanche (-170), Blues (+145)
Puck Line: Avalanche -1.5 (+150), Blues +1.5 (-175)
Over / Under: 6.5 (-115 / -105)
Trend: Overs are 21-8-1 as the Blues are underdogs this season. The Blues are 15-12-3 as underdogs this season (+4.05 units). (Data current as of the beginning of the series). More Round 2 betting trends >>
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics
ECF Game 3, 8:30 pm, TD Garden, Boston, ABC
Line: Celtics (-6.5)
Moneyline: Celtics (-270), Heat (+220)
Over / Under: 208.0
Picks are coming soon
UFC Fight Night: Holly Holm vs. Ketlen Vieira
9:15 pm UFC Apex Enterprise Nevada ESPN +
Line: Holm (-240), Vieira (+200)
Reed Kuhn: Vieira matches reasonably well on paper in terms of purely striking metrics, and she is more accurate than Holm with similar defenses. But the metrics can be a bit misleading, considering Holm’s standup includes a rich mix of kicks. These stairs have lower accuracy when aimed at the head, but are more dangerous than stumps. Holm’s stairs may also be the opening that Vieira needs. She has become more of a headhunting boxer out of reach, closing the distance for takedowns as she chooses. Getting the fight to the ground would be wise, and Vieira averaged more than two minutes of control time per takedown. She needs three rounds, where she can tip the scores with her wrestling.
Choose: Vieira wins (+200)
French open: first round
5:00 p.m., Stade Roland Garros, Paris, France, NBC
Defending singles champions: Novak Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova
Line: Favorite men: Djokovic (+175), favorite women: Iga Swiatek (-110)
Play: Tennis Major Pick’em Paris
Brad Gilbert: The first thing that jumps out at me after the draw is out of unbalanced the top and bottom halves are. The top three favorites (Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal) are all in the top half of the draw. If I was looking for value, I would go to the bottom half, where Stefanos Tsitsipas (+400) has a much more favorable draw. Tsitsipas made the final last year and led two sets to none for Djokovic’s comeback. Daniil Medvedev (+2000) is down there too, but he has not played the big clay tournaments, so I would go to Tsitsipas.
English Premier League: Final weekend
Man City leads Liverpool by 1 point for championship
Tottenham lead Arsenal by 2 points to fourth place,
All games begin at 11 a.m., EPL Table, NBC
to win championship: Man City (-750), Liverpool (+475)
Top four finishes: Tottenham (-4000), Arsenal (+1200)
Game lines: Liverpool (-570) v. Wolves (+1800), Man City (-600) v. Aston Villa (+1600)
Arsenal (-190) v. Everton (+550), Norwich (+1000) vs. Tottenham (-420)
Paul Carr: Man City have rested for a full week and have recently crushed their opponents at home, winning three consecutive home games with a combined score of 13-1. It’s hard to see City losing this game, or even imagining that magic is needed, like Sergio Aguero’s title winning goal a decade ago.
Choose: Man City -2.5 goals (+130)
Carolina Hurricanes @ New York Rangers
East Second Round, Game 3, 3:30 pm, Madison Square Garden, New York, ESPN
Betting Series: Hurricanes (-360), Rangers (+280)
Trend: Prior to the Game 1 affair (Carolina won 2-1 in overtime), all seven Rangers games this season had gone over total. During the regular season, Rangers games were 46-32-4 at the bottom, the highest under percentage in the NHL, including 33-18-1 in Shesterkin starts. More Round 2 betting trends >>
Chicago White Sox @ New York Yankees
7 p.m., Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, ESPN
Over / Under: TBD
Check back for odds and picks later this weekend.
Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers
West Second Round Game 3, 8:00 pm, Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, ESPN2
Series betting (for Game 2): Flames (-380), Oilers (+300)
Trend: The home team won all four meetings in the regular season, and Calgary defeated the visiting Oilers 9-6 in Game 1. More Round 2 betting trends >>
Golden State Warriors @ Dallas Mavericks
WCF Game 3, 9 pm, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TNT
Series betting (prior to Game 2): Warriors (-450), Mavericks (+350)
Check back later for chances and best bets for this game.