Can the Warriors and Lakers set up a second-round playoff matchup on Friday night?
Both Golden State and Los Angeles lead 3-2 in their respective series and are a win away from advancing in the NBA playoffs. Golden State is an 8.5-point favorite at home against the Sacramento Kings (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) while the Lakers are 4.5-point favorites at home against the Memphis Grizzlies (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Golden State has won three consecutive games after falling into a 2-0 hole on the road against the Kings. The Warriors stole Game 5 on the road to put themselves in position to clinch on Friday night as the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox is dealing with a broken middle finger on his shooting hand.
The line moved up a point early Friday morning as bettors are confident in Golden State’s ability to close out the Kings. Given the way the entire series has gone, we’d lean towards the Kings covering that number.
Stephen Curry’s points over/under is at 31.5 while Klay Thompson is at 23.5. Fox’s total is at 26.5 while Damontas Sabonis’ total is at 19.5.
The Lakers seem to have better odds of covering at a much smaller number. Los Angeles won both of its home games earlier in the series but fell on the road in Game 5 on Tuesday as they failed to close out the Grizzlies. None of the games so far in the series have been closer than six points and four of the five games have been decided by at least 10 points.
The under has also been the right side in four contests and Friday night’s total is at 218.5 and 16 points lower than the total in the other series. Just one game so far between L.A. and Memphis has included more than 218 points.
If both Los Angeles and Golden State win, the NBA will be salivating at its Western Conference semifinals. The other side of the bracket is set between No. 1 seed Denver and a Phoenix team that includes Kevin Durant. Having the Warriors and Lakers on the opposite side in the marquee series of the second round would be a huge boost for the NBA’s playoff viewership and guarantee the league at least one of those teams in the Western Conference finals.
Value in Jon Rahm?
Defending Mexico Open Jon Rahm was a massive favorite before the tournament began. He shot a 4-under 67 during Thursday’s first round and ended the day four shots off the lead set by Austin Smotherman.
Rahm is now +1100 to win the tournament and is the No. 7 favorite as he ended the day outside the top 10. Given his odds to win before it began and his status as far and away the best player in the field, betting Rahm before his round starts Friday afternoon could be a really good idea.
DeGrom takes the mound for the Rangers
Jacob DeGrom starts against the New York Yankees on Friday night as he looks to continue his stellar start to the season.
The former Mets ace has struck out 43 over his first 26.2 innings as a member of the Texas Rangers while allowing just 12 hits and three walks in that timeframe. His ERA is at 3.04 thanks to giving up five earned runs in 3.2 innings in his first start with the club. Since then, DeGrom has allowed just four earned runs over 23 innings. Can he keep a tough Yankees lineup in check? The Rangers are 1.5-run favorites at +105 and -210 to win straight up. The total is just seven runs and the lowest of any game on the schedule Friday night.
Who cashed tickets on Thursday?
The Boston Celtics pulled away from the Atlanta Hawks late on Thursday night to close out Atlanta and set up a second-round matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.
If you were betting on the draft, you probably hit on Bryce Young at No. 1 and not much else unless you didn’t play the favorites. Will Levis opened the day as the favorite to go No. 2 and didn’t get drafted in the first round at all. He was also the favorite to go No. 4 but the Colts took Anthony Richardson in that spot. Georgia’s Jalen Carter was the big favorite to go No. 5 overall but he slid to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 9.