The Daily Sweat: The Celtics are favored to take a 3-1 lead over the Warriors
The Boston Celtics are favored by 3.5 points again in Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors.
The Celtics can take a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals with a win on Friday night (9 p.m. ET, ABC). A victory also means Boston can win the title on Monday night in Golden State.
All four of the Finals games so far have had lines at 3.5 at BetMGM favoring the home team and all three games played have not been close. It would be phenomenal if we could enter the weekend with a close Finals game for our own entertainment and for some betting sweat.
Boston won the first game, 120-108, while Golden State won Game 2 by a score of 107-88. Boston took another lead in the series on Wednesday night with a 116-100 win after Golden State stormed back to take an 83-82 lead in the third quarter.
Bettors are favoring the Celtics on Friday night too. Over 70% of bets and 80% of the money on the spread is on Boston to cover the number. That’s a significant difference from Game 3 when bettors were basically split on who would cover the spread.
The repetitive line also means that oddsmakers aren’t too worried about Stephen Curry’s late Game 3 foot injury though bettors may be a little wary. Curry injured his left foot in a fourth-quarter scramble for the ball when Al Horford landed on top of him. Curry said after Wednesday’s game that he wasn’t worried about missing Game 4 and all signs point to him being in the starting lineup as usual on Friday night.
Curry needs to be very effective again for Golden State to have a chance. Boston withstood a fantastic game from Curry and a bounce back night from Klay Thompson to win Game 3. Can the Warriors get bigger contributions from players like Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green on Friday night?
The over/under for Game 3 was at 212.5 and Friday night’s total is up two points to 214.5 after both Celtics wins so far have hit the over. If you’re betting on the Warriors to even the series, are you willing to bet the game goes under? Just over half of bets are on the under but those bets make up nearly 75% of the money on the total.
If you are liking the Warriors to win, you can get Golden State at +145 to win the game straight up. Boston is at -175 to win straight up so if you’re backing the Celtics, you may want to lay the points. After all, this series hasn’t had a close game so far.
Matt Fitzpatrick takes over as RBC Canadian Open favorite
Matt Fitzpatrick shot a 6-under 64 and is a stroke behind Wyndham Clark for the lead after the first round of the RBC Canadian Open. Fitzpatrick is now +400 to win the tournament and just ahead of Rory McIlroy at +500. McIlroy shot a 66 and is three shots off the lead.
Scottie Scheffler shot a 68 and is now at +1200 along with Sam Burns while Justin Thomas is at +1800 after he was 1-under in the first round. Clark is at +1600 to win the tournament.
Rays and Twins highlight the MLB weekend
There’s just one series this weekend across Major League Baseball featuring both teams in the top two spots in their division. It’s an American League series as the Tampa Bay Rays travel to the Minnesota Twins. The Twins lead the AL Central while the Rays are in second to the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Drew Rasmussen starts for Tampa while Devin Smeltzer takes the mound for the Twins on Friday night. The Rays are -115 to win the game straight up, while you can take Tampa giving the Twins 1.5 runs at +145.
Super Regionals begin
There are four Super Regional games on Friday as the second round of the NCAA tournament gets underway. The eight three-game Super Regional series will determine the eight College World Series participants and CWS favorite Tennessee hosts Notre Dame. The Vols are -350 to win straight up — an astonishing number — and at -200 to win by at least 1.5 runs.
Tennessee is the biggest Game 1 Super Regional favorite by far. Stanford is the second-biggest favorite (over UConn) at -200 to win the first game of its series and every other favorite has longer odds than -200 to win straight up.
Tennessee was at +225 to win the CWS before Regionals and the Vols are now +140 before Super Regionals. It’s not out of the question that Tennessee will be shorter than even money to win the College World Series after the eight-team field is finalized.
Who cashed tickets on Thursday?
Angels bettors were finally happy after the team broke its losing streak on Thursday night. Los Angeles had lost 14 consecutive games before a 5-2 win at home. Shohei Ohtani gave up a run and struck out six in seven innings and hit a two-run homer in the fifth.