NBA (1 Unit) Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics 1st Half -3.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ABC
The Celtics have a litany of advantages on their side in this Game 3, all indicating that we’ll see another strong start from Boston here.
Teams returning home for a Game 3 always seem to get out to hot starts behind pumped-up crowds, and there might not be a tougher playoff environment than TD Garden. The unquantifiable boost that Boston’s role players will get should propel the Celtics, especially with that supporting cast already playing well.
But Miami’s role players – many of whom are dealing with injuries – should continue to struggle in this situational spot as they have in the first two rounds. Miami lost both of their previous Game 3’s and were down at half by more than this number both times.
And Boston has already been dominant to start games in this series, leading at half by eight and 25 points. The Celtics have the second-best average first half margin in the league, a product of them allowing the fewest points before half. I expect that to fuel another hot start for this team as they work towards taking the series lead.
Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit): Boston Celtics -6.5 (-110)
Speaking of taking the series lead, it sure seems like Boston is primed to do that here tonight. A lot of the home-court advantages that I mentioned above should theoretically last more than just the first half. Plus, this Celtics team just appears to be the better squad, reflected in their nearly even-money series price despite facing an 0-1 deficit. It’s somewhat of an inflated number here off the Game 2 beatdown, but I see Boston continuing their torrid pace and getting a comfortable win here.
Extra Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit): Jaylen Brown Over 23.5 Points (-110)
The red-hot shooting from Boston has a lot to do with Jaylen Brown seemingly making everything. He’s shooting 47.1% overall and 53.6% from deep in this series, leading to 24 points in both games so far. I’d also expect Brown to play slightly better in front of the home crowd, so with him already surpassing this total twice I’ll count on him to do it again.
MLB (0.25 Unit) San Diego Padres (+135) @ SF Giants: 3:05 PM CT on FS1
In my mind this should be much closer to an even-money price, if not having the Padres as a slight favorite. It’s primarily about Padres starter Joe Musgrove for me, behind whom San Diego has never lost a game. Typically you’re going to be laying juice to back an undefeated pitcher on a good team, so it makes plenty of sense to ride the streak if you’re getting a plus-money return, even if it has to end eventually.
San Diego is also hitting left-handed pitching much better this year, and face an overvalued Carlos Rodon here. The prized free-agent acquisition for San Fran started out hot but has really come back to earth, culminating in him getting battered in his last start. If the Padres can get to Rodon early I like the chances for another Musgrove-led win, and I especially like the payout for it.
MLB (0.5 Unit) Minnesota Twins -1.5 @ Kansas City Royals (+120): 6:10 PM CT on Bally Sports North
After a comfortable win to cover the run line last night, it’s now Joe Ryan Day so I just have to back the Twins to do it again here. Ryan has been mostly outstanding this season, and has done a great job of holding down weak lineups. That’s what you’d have to consider the Royals to be, and he already did it once this season. Ryan engineered the lone bright spot in Minnesota’s first visit to Kansas City, pitching six innings of 2-hit ball.
With Brad Keller going for the Royals, I’m not too worried about the Twins giving their pitching run support. The Twins appear to have turned it around offensively with one of their better scoring outputs last night, continuing the momentum from their outburst on Wednesday. Their lineup also has a decent history against Keller despite him being a right-hander. But they might only need a couple runs to cover tonight if Ryan can continue his dominance, so at a plus-money return I’ll trust them to get it done again.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 729-600 ATS (+80.6 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.