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If Minkah Fitzpatrick owes you $20, now is the time to give him a call and ask about it. The Steelers locked him up to a new five-year deal that will pay him $73.6 million with $36 million guaranteed. It works out to an average of $18.4 million a season, which is a nice raise from the $10.6 million he was scheduled to make. It also makes Fitzpatrick the highest-paid safety in the NFL, and deservedly so.

While Fitzpatrick isn't considered the best player on the Pittsburgh defense -- T.J. Watt was just named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, after all -- he's one of the best safeties in the league and has been for a while. He's been destined for stardom since he first suited up for Alabama in college, and he's gotten better every year.

Plus, if you're Pittsburgh, you're looking at either Mitch Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett as your QB in 2022, so you need to lock up that defense as quickly as possible. You can't afford to give up many points if you want to return to the playoffs for the third straight season!

Now lace up your skates. The Stanley Cup Final starts tonight.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. | TV: ABC

Latest Odds: Under 6
  • Key Trend: The under is 10-1 in Tampa's last 11 games
  • The Pick: Under 6 (-105)

The under used to be a blind play in Stanley Cup Final games. But over the last five years, NHL games have become higher-scoring, leading to the over going 14-11-4. That's not the kind of trend that would tell you to hammer the over blindly, but it's a decisive shift in the other direction.

By taking the under tonight, it's not that I'm expecting a shift in the way the game is played. It's that the total for every single one of the previous 29 Stanley Cup Final games closed at 5 or 5.5. Tonight's total is set at 6. Regardless of the total or betting result, there have been an average of 5.5 goals scored in those last 29 games. I don't know the last time a Stanley Cup Final game had a total as high as six because my records don't go back far enough to find one. Google wasn't much help, either.

Whatever the date, it's been a while, and while I won't be shocked if this one flies past six goals, history and my numbers suggest it's more likely not to. 

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: If you don't want to listen to me, you should listen to SportsLine's top NHL handicapper Matt Severance. He's gone 134-71-4 this season for a return over 27 units. He's got a money line play for Game 1 tonight.


The Picks

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USATSI

MLB

Pirates at Cardinals, 7:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 8.5

The Pick: Over 8.5 (-120) -- The weather is doing a lot of heavy lifting with this pick. I don't know how it is where you live right now, but in the midwest, it's hot as hell. We went from temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s to the 90s overnight, and the ball flies a lot further when that happens.

Tonight's forecast in St. Louis has the temperature at first pitch being 96 degrees with the wind blowing out to left field at 13 mph. In other words, pray for the pitchers. Roansy Contreras gets the start for Pittsburgh. While he strikes out a lot of hitters, he also allows a lot of loud, flyball contact, which is not what any pitcher wants in these conditions. For St. Louis, Jack Flaherty will make his first appearance of the season after dealing with shoulder issues this spring.

His return is huge for the Cardinals and their playoff hopes, but if I were him, I'd prefer to return on a night with the wind blowing in.

Key Trend: The over is 4-1 in St. Louis' last five games as a home favorite.

Padres at Cubs, 8:05 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: San Diego Padres +120

The Pick: Padres (+120) -- Here's another game the weather will significantly impact, but with the total already up at 12, I don't see much value in betting it. Instead, we find the value in the Padres, as they are underdogs in a game that is essentially a coinflip. I'm assuming the biggest factor is that Ryan Weathers is starting for the Padres, and it's his first MLB appearance of the season.

It makes sense to be skeptical of Weathers, who posted a 5.32 ERA with San Diego last season, but the Cubs are starting Caleb Kilian, a top prospect who came to Chicago from San Francisco in last year's Kris Bryant trade. He made his MLB debut in a doubleheader on June 4 against St. Louis and allowed three runs in five innings but struck out six. There's a reason he's a highly-rated prospect, but I don't anticipate him going deep today, and he's backed by a bullpen that allowed nine runs in four innings last night and has been asked to cover a lot of innings lately.

Key Trend: The Cubs have lost eight straight and have won only 19 of their last 65 home games.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Golf stats expert Sal Johnson offers his best bets and top picks for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.


U.S. Open Top 10s

Four of our five golfers finished in the top 10 last week. Four! After a slow start to the golf season with our top 10 props, we've been making up a lot of ground over the last month. Let's stay hot with these five golfers this weekend.

  • Xander Schauffele (+225)
  • Patrick Cantlay (+250)
  • Keegan Bradley (+600)
  • Brian Harman (+1200)
  • Alex Noren (+1400)