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The Daily Sweat: Philadelphia and Denver look to advance to the conference finals

The Sixers and Nuggets are each an upset win away from the conference finals.

Both teams hold 3-2 leads entering Thursday night’s Game 6s and each is an underdog at BetMGM. Philadelphia is a 2.5-point underdog at home to the Boston Celtics, while the Nuggets are 3.5-point underdogs on the road against the Phoenix Suns.

The Sixers are in position to clinch on their home court because of two massive road wins against the Celtics. Philadelphia got a win in Game 1 without Joel Embiid and then won Game 5 on Tuesday night to take another lead in the series. The Celtics have been the favorites to win the Finals for much of the regular season and postseason and would join the Milwaukee Bucks as Finals favorites eliminated in the first two rounds of the playoffs with a loss on Thursday night.

The total in Philadelphia is just 212.5 as oddsmakers see the number of potential points scored in Game 6 as a bit of an anomaly. The total has eclipsed 213 points in four of the first five games of the series. The only game that’s had fewer than 212 points was the Celtics’ 121-87 win in Game 2.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers and Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets embrace at the Wells Fargo Center on January 28, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic's teams are a win away from the conference finals. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The winner of each game in the series has gotten to 114 points or more. That’s a great recipe for an over. If you think that trend continues, you should look at betting the over.

The Suns will need to rely on Kevin Durant and Devin Booker to deliver epic performances in Game 6 with Chris Paul sidelined once again because of a groin injury and Deandre Ayton listed as questionable. The Suns are 2-1 without Paul in the series as Booker has been one of the three best players in the postseason. Not having Ayton would be an even bigger hurdle for Phoenix as Denver’s Nikola Jokic has become unstoppable.

Jokic dropped 29 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in Denver’s Game 5 win. The home team has won every game so far in this series, and Ayton’s availability could be what ends that pattern.

The total in Phoenix is 226.5, and we lean slightly to the under on that one. Only two of the first five games in the series have gone over that number, though it’s worth noting that both of those overs have happened in Phoenix. The Suns scored 121 and 129 points in each of their home wins against the Nuggets.

Scottie Scheffler a huge AT&T Byron Nelson favorite

Without Jordan Spieth in the field because of a left wrist injury, it’s Scottie Scheffler and everyone else as the AT&T Byron Nelson begins. Scheffler is +350 to win the tournament while no one else has odds better than 12-1. Tyrell Hatton is the No. 2 favorite at +1200 while Tom Kim is at +1400 and Jason Day is at +1600.

The Byron Nelson is the last tournament before the PGA Championship in a week.

Betting on the 2023 NFL schedule release

Kidding. There are no bets you can make on the NFL schedule ahead of its release on Thursday night. At least not at BetMGM.

Europa League semifinals

Roma takes on Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus plays Sevilla in the semifinals of the Europa League on Thursday. Roma is +125 to win over Leverkusen (+240) and Juventus is -135 to beat Sevilla (+400) at home. The games are the first of two-leg semifinal matchups just like the Champions League semifinals.

In the Champions League, Manchester City is -150 to win the tournament after a 1-1 tie with Real Madrid in their first semifinal matchup. Inter Milan is +300 to win after a 2-0 victory over AC Milan. Real Madrid is +375 ahead of the second leg in Manchester and AC Milan is +2200 to complete the two-goal comeback and win the title game.

Who cashed tickets Wednesday?

Warriors bettors were happy the series continued with Golden State’s Game 5 win over the Lakers. Game 6 is Friday night. The Knicks won their second game of the series to force game 6 against Miami as well.