This weekend’s sports calendar is loaded with 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games, 11 NBA playoff games, the GEICO 500, and more.
Here’s a look at the biggest online sports betting opportunities from Friday night through Sunday.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: First Round
Friday-Sunday, April 21-23 | TV: ABC, ESPN, TBS, TNT
This weekend’s 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games include eight Game 3s; four on Friday night and four on Saturday. Historically, it’s a great moneyline spot in NHL betting for road teams and/or underdogs that lost Game 2 after winning Game 1.
Since 2005 in Game 3:
- Road teams are 37-27 against the moneyline (+16.2% ROI).
- Underdogs are 34-28 against the moneyline (+22.3%).
- Road underdogs are 19-16 against the moneyline (+22.3%).
The Boston Bruins fit the first trend after a blowout home loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 2. They went 31-10 on the road during the regular season, tying the 2005-06 Detroit Red Wins for most road wins in a season.
The other four playoff games this weekend are Game 4s, all on Sunday. And that’s been a terrible moneyline spot for all underdogs, regardless of home ice and previous game outcome.
Since 2005 in Game 4s, underdogs are just 97-166, a winning percentage of .369, that equates to an ROI of -17.3%.
They’ve been particularly awful against the moneyline and puck line over the last five seasons. Since 2018, underdogs are 27-56 (.325) against the moneyline (-27.5%) and 43-40 (.518) against the puck line (-21.4%).
Projected underdogs for Game 4s on Sunday include the Panthers, New York Islanders (vs. Carolina Hurricanes), Minnesota Wild (vs. Dallas Stars), and Los Angeles Kings (vs. Edmonton Oilers).
NBA Playoffs: First Round
Friday-Sunday, April 21-23 | TV: ABC, ESPN, TNT
This weekend’s 11 NBA playoff games include five Game 3s and six Game 4s. Historically, it’s the turning point for high over/under totals.
Since 2005, when the total is at least 220 in a Game 1 and/or Game 2, the under is 61-40 (.604), including 9-6 this season.
But in Game 3s: 17-18-2 (.486).
Even with better numbers in Games 4-7, the under is barely above .500 (.520) in Games 3-7 when the total is 220.
If the first week of playoff over/under totals are any indication, more than half of this weekend’s games will have a total north of 220, including Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.
Sunday, April 23 | TV: FOX | 3 p.m. ET
After passing Kyle Larson and Erik Jones on the final lap of last year’s race, Ross Chastain became the 31st different winner in 53 editions of the GEICO 500. He’s now attempting to become just the sixth back-to-back winner in race history — and the first since Jeff Gordon in 2005.
The public isn’t buying another Chastain (+1600) win. As of Thursday, he has only 2.9% of the tickets (13th-most among all drivers) and 3% of the handle (10th). The most recent winner at Talladega, Chase Elliott, in the Yellawood 500 last October, leads in handle share (14.6%) and ranks second to Ryan Blaney (7.9%) in ticket share (7.7%).
Elliott has five career top-five finishes in only 14 career starts at Talladega Superspeedway, a rate of 37.5% that ranks first among all drivers. With his wins in the 2022 Yellawood 500 and 2019 GEICO 500, he has two of Hendrick Motorsports’ three total wins at Talladega since 2011.