Today's Top Picks: Why Game 4 of Raptors-Warriors is a stayaway, plus three MLB best bets
Also, watch SportsLine on CBS Sports HQ live at 6 p.m. ET for all today's best bets
So I guess Klay Thompson's presence is important.
On Wednesday night I gave out a pick on the Warriors -4.5, and I did so with the assumption that Thompson would be playing in the game. Well, we all know what happens when one assumes, and not only did the Warriors make an ass out of me without Thompson, but they made an ass out of themselves as well, as Toronto scored 123 points.
There was so much attention paid to Steph Curry scoring 47 points in the game, and so little to Golden State not playing any semblance of defense. Toronto shot 52.4 percent from the floor, including 44.7 percent from three. The Raptors had seven players play at least 10 minutes in the game, and six of them finished with at least 10 points. Only Serge Ibaka and his 6 points failed to crack double-digits.
All of which leads to me not having a pick for Game 4 tonight. We know Kevin Durant isn't playing (and I'm growing more skeptical he's going to play at all), and Klay Thompson's status is up in the air. I think he's going to play, but I thought he was going to play on Wednesday. Still, even if he does play, considering they felt the need to hold him out of Game 3, we can't know how healthy he's going to be.
So I have no idea what tonight's game will look like, and I'm going to focus on baseball tonight. All odds are via William Hill.
Overall, Rick Porcello is having a poor season with the Red Sox. His ERA sits at 4.76, and he has an xFIP of 5.18. He also has exaggerated home-road splits. In 38 innings at Fenway this season, Porcello has an ERA of 3.52 compared to 6.37 in 29.2 innings on the road. So while he's not the guy who won the Cy Young not too long ago, he's been better at home, which is where he'll be pitching tonight. Yonny Chirinos starts for the Rays, and while he's gone between the rotation and bullpen, the Rays don't treat him as an opener. He's somewhat homer-prone, but he doesn't walk a lot of guys, so he doesn't often get in too much trouble. So while these two offenses are good enough to warrant a high total, I think 10 is a little too high.
The SportsLine Projection Model has simulated Game 4 of the NBA Finals 10,000 times, and one side of the spread is cashing in 54 percent of simulations. Find out how the model, which has been red-hot with A-rated plays, is picking the game over at SportsLine.
You can make a decent bit of money betting against aces, particularly when that ace is on an average to below average team. For instance, Jacob deGrom won the NL Cy Young Award last year with an ERA of 1.70. He was amazing, but not amazing enough because the Mets went 14-18 in his 32 starts last season, and if you'd bet against them in every one of those starts you'd have finished the season up 8.3 units. That trend has continued into this season as well. Now, that's not the only reason I'm making this pick. The Rockies have been playing well. In their last 17 games, the Rockies offense has hit .303/.367/.511 and averaged 6.4 runs per game. So while they've got a tall mountain to climb against deGrom tonight, at +180, I think there's good value on this play.
SportsLine senior analyst Zack Cimini has been on a tear, hitting 18 of his last 25 MLB picks. He's locked in three best bets tonight, including taking the Rangers at even odds. See the rest of his best bets over at SportsLine.
I wish they were offering odds on a bench-clearing incident in this game because there've been a few already this year. These teams don't like each other much, and most of that dislike seems to come from the Royals. Maybe it's because they're 3-6 against the White Sox this season. Despite all that, the White Sox enter this game playing much better baseball than the Royals. KC has lost five straight and 12 of its last 14. Also, while neither of tonight's starting pitchers gets many strikeouts, KC's Homer Bailey has walked a lot more hitters than Chicago's Ivan Nova. Finally, when it comes to their respective bullpens, the White Sox bullpen has been a lot better than the Royals this season, so there's value on them as an underdog in this matchup.
The Women's World Cup kicks off Friday, and European soccer expert David Sumter has shared his best value plays to win the entire tournament, including one massive longshot. Find out Sumter's best World Cup values only at SportsLine.
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