Happy Wednesday! I know we're in the midst of the NBA and NHL playoffs, and we have MLB and WNBA underway, and of course, the NFL never stops, but my editors will be thrilled to learn that the only thing on my mind right now is Italian soccer.
Things are going a bit crazy in Italy at the moment! On Wednesday, it was announced that Antonio Conte, the manager at Inter Milan, which just won Italy's Serie A (coming to Parmount+ next season, by the way), is leaving the club. Apparently, he's upset that the team needs to sell a bunch of players to make up for lost money, and he thinks they should be spending more, so he's out.
We're now looking at a situation where five of the top seven teams in Serie A could have new managers next season, which, even in soccer, is a lot of managerial turnover. So I've spent the majority of my morning and early afternoon trying to figure out what it'll all look like when the dust settles. While I continue doing that, you should catch up on these other stories that are probably far more interesting to you than Italian soccer.
- Jason La Canfora ranked the best divisions in the NFL.
- Five potential trade targets for the New York Mets.
- Brooks Koepka does not want to be Aaron Rodgers right now.
- Gonzaga received some excellent news today.
All right, so I didn't spend all day thinking about Serie A. I spent some of it getting these picks ready too.
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Blue Jays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 9.5 (-105): Most people who follow baseball know that Yankee Stadium has hitter-friendly dimensions with short porches in both right and left field, but the dimensions need some context. It is 318 feet from home plate to the left-field foul pole and 314 feet to the right-field foul pole. The baseball field I played on at 12 years old was 315 feet. Of course, the difference is that Yankee Stadium is much deeper in the gaps and center field, while my Little League field was 315 all around, but the point is that it's somewhat ridiculous that the Yankees play with some of the same dimensions I did when I was 12.
What most don't realize is that Yankee Stadium isn't heavily skewed towards hitters. According to Statcast's Park Factors, it ranks as the 19th-most hitter-friendly park in the league over the last three seasons, and it's just above average when it comes to dingers.
But there will be dingers tonight. Like most parks, the weather can impact how the ball carries at the stadium, and tonight's forecast points to balls carrying. The Blue Jays offense ranks second in MLB with a 3.95 HR%, while the Yankees are tenth at 3.25%. The runs are coming.
Key Trend: The over is 6-2 in Toronto's last eight road games.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: They don't have a play on the total, but both the Advanced Computer Model and the SDQL Gurus like the same money line play tonight.
Rockies at Mets, 7:10 p.m | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 6.5 (-120) -- New York is a large city, but it's not so large that the weather conditions at Yankee Stadium differ greatly from Citi Field. Both the Yankees and Mets will be playing in New York simultaneously, and the same weather helping balls carry in the Bronx will do the same in Queens.
Of course, the two offenses in this game aren't as prolific as the Yankees and Blue Jays, but the total is much lower because of it. In fact, it's too low.
Key Trend: There aren't a lot of trends that support this play, but I'm telling you, Mother Nature doesn't care about trends.
Grizzlies at Jazz, 10 p.m | TV: TNT
The Pick: Desmond Bane Under 7.5 Points (-115) -- Plenty of people subscribe to the zig-zag theory when it comes to betting in the NBA playoffs. The theory is that if a team loses a game, you should bet them to cover the spread in the next game. I assure you, gambling is not that easy.
While I don't use that method, I do have a somewhat modified version of it. My theory in NBA playoff games is that it's tough to win on the road unless your role players play well. That was the case in Game 1 of this series, but role players are role players for a reason: they don't sustain the production over the long run because if they did, they'd be more than role players.
So my zig-zag is finding a role player who played well in a road win and fading him the next game. That's what I'm doing here with Desmond Bane, who shot 3-of-4 from the field with two three-pointers to finish with eight points in 18 minutes. It was far and away his best performance against the Jazz this season, and the only time in four games he finished with more than 7.5 points.
Key Trend: In four games against Utah, Desmond Bane has shot 31.8% from the floor and averaged 5.7 points per game.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Both SportsLine experts Zack Cimini and Mark Barner like one side of the spread in tonight's playoff game between the Knicks and Hawks.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Top Three Starters
Top Three Hitters
- Brett Gardner, Yankees
⚾ Charles Schwab Challenge Top 20 Props
We're betting on each of the following golfers to finish in the top 20 this weekend.
- Daniel Berger (-110)
- Charley Hoffman (+163)
- Harold Varner (+300)
- Joel Dahmen (+333)
- Talor Gooch (+350)
- Cameron Davis (+400)
- Lucas Glover (+400)
- Maverick McNealy (+450)
- Matthew NeSmith (+450)
- Patrick Rodgers (+600)