Round 2 of the NBA playoffs will end this weekend, one way or another. Elsewhere in the sports world, there’s also 15 MLB series, the NFL schedule release, college postseasons in spring sports, and more.
Spring is indeed a busy time in the online sports betting calendar at BetMGM. Here are some notable events:
The NBA Playoffs
Game 7s Begin Sunday, May 14
The ebbs and flows of the NBA playoff calendar have led fans to a dramatic weekend of decisive games.
On Sunday, basketball fans will be treated to a gritty Game 7 between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. And depending on the Friday results of Lakers-Warriors, there could be another Game 7 to follow on Sunday, too.
Golden State’s potential end is the most dramatic. The Warriors, who were +900 in the championship market prior to Friday’s game, have delivered a decade of dominance. But the core of the team is aging, key pieces could enter free agency, and younger players haven’t lived up to expectations.
The Warriors faced down elimination once already this week, fending off the Lakers on Wednesday, 121-106. The eyes of the basketball world will certainly be on California this weekend.
In the east, the Celtics spent much of the regular season as the title favorite in the NBA odds market. They recaptured their favorite status after Milwaukee was bounced in the first round.
However, Boston has looked shaky for much of this Sixers series. They were within minutes of elimination on Thursday night, trailing in Philadelphia deep into the fourth quarter. Jayson Tatum’s better-late-than-never shooting ultimately won the game and launched Boston back to the top of the NBA championship odds market at +185.
Nonetheless, Boston’s lack of dominance has opened up space for others in the betting market.
Currently, Denver is +280. Philadelphia is +325. The Suns, Heat, and Knicks are all considered longshots.
Major League Baseball
Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays
Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14
There are good MLB divisions, and then there’s the AL East. Every team in the best division in baseball somehow has a positive run differential. Toronto (21-16) is at the bottom of that list, as the Blue Jays are only +15 runs.
By contrast, the NL East has four teams with a negative point differential. The lone bright spot is the Atlanta Braves (25-12, +59 RD), who are hammering out runs while continuing to deliver solid pitching.
The Blue Jays welcome Atlanta into the Rogers Centre at a time when they’re falling behind the rest of the division. They were swept by the Red Sox at the beginning of May and are already 7.5 games back from first, with the fifth-place Yankees only half a game behind them.
With five good teams in the division, someone is going to get left behind. This Braves series could serve as a good signal on how far behind first place Toronto might run this summer.
The good news? The Blue Jays have been a mediocre road team, but they’re 9-3 at home. Consider that when diving into this weekend’s MLB odds.
Men’s Lacrosse NCAA Tournament
Tournament Begins Saturday, May 13 | ESPNU
NCAA spring sports have exploded in popularity over the last few years, with many fans growing to love the College World Series in Omaha and the WCWS in Oklahoma.
Lacrosse is a bit more regional, as it’s traditionally dominated by mid-Atlantic teams. But for bettors in Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania in particular, betting into the collegiate lacrosse odds market is an awesome opportunity to take in a regional pastime.
The NCAA men’s lacrosse postseason tournament is set to start in earnest this weekend, with an opening game between Delaware and Marist already played.
The Maryland Terrapins and Virginia Cavaliers have each won two national championships in the last six years. Virginia is a +350 co-favorite for this year’s championship, alongside No. 1 Duke.
According to BetMGM online sportsbook, Virginia and Notre Dame are the two biggest favorites of the first round, with each team playing as -5000 moneyline favorites. Both teams are laying 7.5 goals in the spread markets.
The odds also say that No. 5 Penn State could be vulnerable early. The Nittany Lions are a mere -125 to get past Princeton in their first game.