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The Daily Sweat: NBA play-in tournament spreads set, Lakers are big favorites over Warriors

·5 min read
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Betting on the NBA has been treacherous for a couple weeks. 

Who's playing hard? Who might be tanking? There haven't been a ton of games that have mattered for both teams in a while, which is practically inevitable at the end of any long regular season. That made for a handicapping adventure. Finally, that's over. 

They all matter from here on out. The play-in tournament is set, along with four other series for the NBA playoffs. It's about time. 

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From a betting perspective at BetMGM, the first order of business is the play-in games. And we have point spreads: 

Tuesday: Pacers (-3.5) over Hornets, Wizards (+1.5) over Celtics
Wednesday: Grizzlies (-3.5) over Spurs, Lakers (-6.5) over Warriors

It probably shouldn't be a surprise the Lakers are the biggest favorite on the board. The Lakers are finally getting healthy, and got a couple tune-in games with LeBron James and Anthony Davis last week. They're the defending champs, still +200 favorites to win the West at BetMGM and we all know what they're capable of. 

The Warriors have been really good though. They've won six in a row, and eight of nine. Stephen Curry is on a monster run, and clinched a scoring title on Sunday night. The Lakers are great when they're healthy and on the same page, but maybe there's just enough rust that the Warriors can keep it close. It seems like too many points, but we have a couple days to fret about that line. And we're sure to talk plenty about that line, and the other three as well. Bring on the playoffs. 

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Anthony Davis (3) haven't been on the court much together the past few weeks. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Anthony Davis (3) haven't been on the court much together the past few weeks. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Let's take a look at what's going on in the sports betting world this Monday: 

Who cashed tickets this weekend? 

In UFC 262, Michael Chandler looked like a live dog in the first round of the main event against Charles Oliveira. Chandler had Oliveira in trouble in the first round, but Oliveira's flurry to start to the second round led to a knockout, a UFC lightweight championship belt and a cash for the -140 favorite. In the co-main event, favorite Beneil Dariush never gave bettors any reason to worry in a dominant performance over Tony Ferguson. 

At the PGA's Byron Nelson Classic, Kyoung-Hoon Lee was about 150-to-1 odds at various books before the tournament started but torched the course and won easily. It's a great story for Lee, as he gets a spot in the PGA Championship that starts this week. 

In the horse racing world, there will be no triple crown. Rombauer was an unlikely winner at the Preakness Stakes, ousting Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and cashing a nice 11-to-1 ticket for anyone who bet it. 

A goalkeeper goal bad beat?

Maybe you had the lucrative draw bet in West Brom vs. Liverpool over in the Premier League. Or you played it safer and took the "West Brom or draw" double chance bet (raises hand). 

Either way, you took one of the strangest bad beats on Sunday. On the final play of injury time, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker crept up for the final corner kick (because why not, with nothing to lose) and became the sixth Premier League goaltender to score a goal, giving Liverpool a 2-1 win. 

Seriously, this is one weird way to lose a bet. 

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That's a great goal and a miserable way to start your betting Sunday if you didn't have Liverpool.

A more conventional bad beat

Maybe you liked the Lakers to play hard for a half against New Orleans on Sunday. The line for the first half was a reasonable Lakers -4.5. 

To repeat, the line for the first half was Lakers -4.5. 

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Come on. No. 

What are we betting on this afternoon? 

There's no workday action on the schedule, unfortunately. MLB's nine-game slate doesn't start until 6:40 p.m. Eastern. There's no NBA with the regular season wrapped up. Not even a Premier League game. 

It's a small card overall, but there is one league playing Monday night that's been pretty awesome for betting so far ... 

NHL playoffs are insane, again

There have been four NHL playoff games so far. Three have gone to overtime and the fourth was decided in the final two minutes of regulation. 

In the early rounds of the NBA playoffs, the better teams normally advance. In the NHL, there's a lot more unpredictability. All four teams that won this past weekend were road teams. The best game of the bunch was probably the Tampa Bay Lightning beating the Florida Panthers on a late breakaway goal in regulation to take a back-and-forth Game 1. 

There are three games today, and maybe the best play is BetMGM's overtime prop. Betting "yes" on whether Monday's games will go to overtime: Bruins-Capitals is +280, Hurricanes-Predators is +290 and Blues-Avalanche is +375. Don't forget to take some action on the underdogs too; it just seems like it might be that kind of first round. 

The NHL playoffs are consistently one of the best shows in sports, and it's not like there's much else to bet on this Monday. 

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