It won’t be easy for the NBA to match the two games we saw on Sunday.
In a couple of great Game 4s, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Boston Celtics in overtime, then the Phoenix Suns held off the Denver Nuggets despite 53 points from Nikola Jokic. It was a great night of basketball.
There’s just as much urgency in the Game 4s on Monday night.
The first game Monday is the New York Knicks at the Miami Heat. The Heat lead the series 2-1 and are 4.5-point favorites at BetMGM in Game 4.
In the late game, the Los Angeles Lakers are 2.5-point favorites over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers lead that series 2-1.
The Heat have been an incredible story this postseason, a No. 8 seed that is two wins from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Knicks shot poorly, hitting just 8-of-40 3-point attempts. Jimmy Butler had another huge game for the Heat. Miami came in as a huge underdog to get out of the first round but has looked nothing like a No. 8 seed since the playoffs started, and can put the Knicks in a huge hole. Still, the way the series has bounced back and forth, perhaps it’s the Knicks’ turn to cover. They know they can’t afford a loss in Game 4.
The Lakers and Warriors series has gone back and forth and a lot of that has to do with the “one game on, one game off” pattern of Anthony Davis this postseason. Here’s Davis’ points in each of the Lakers’ playoff games, and it’s weird: 22, 13, 31, 12, 31, 16, 30, 11, 25. Can Davis break that and actually have 20 on Monday night? His player prop is 25.5 points on BetMGM. If Davis plays well, the Lakers have looked like the better team this series (they’ve been quite good since mid-February).
Both teams that were down 1-2 in their series won on Sunday. Will we see both underdogs win on Monday to even up those series too?
Here’s the first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
Oilers look to keep momentum
The Edmonton Oilers-Vegas Golden Knights series is tied 1-1, but the Oilers made a great statement in Game 2.
The Oilers were up 4-0 at the end of the first period in Game 2. They led the Knights in shots on goal 16-3. They went on to a 5-1 win and came out of that game looking like the best team in the series, and maybe the best team left in the playoffs. The Oilers are a hefty -185 favorite for Game 3 in the only NHL game on Monday.
MLB has 11 games
It’s not quite a full day in baseball, but there are plenty of games. The best game on Monday is the Tampa Bay Rays at the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays might be the story of the first month and a half of the MLB season, with a 28-7 start. They’ve overshadowed the Orioles’ surprising 22-12 start to the season. The Rays have ace Shane McClanahan on the mound and they’re a -175 road favorite. Don’t underestimate the Orioles in this series.
What’s the best bet?
I’m buying into the Lakers. It’s not just a team that got hot once the playoffs started. They were good for the final two months of the regular season. Starting on Feb. 15, the Lakers had an 18-7 finish to the regular season. They’ve carried that over to the postseason. This odd Anthony Davis zig-zag seems fluky, so I’ll bank on Davis having a big game and the Lakers to cover.