How the Knicks will keep it close against the Mavericks and an MLB best bet for Friday night

Look at you, you’ve done it again. You’ve made it through another week, and now it’s time to reward yourself with a weekend. You’re certainly starting things off right by reading this newsletter, and I appreciate that.

In fact, I appreciate it so much that I don’t want to take up any more of your time than is necessary. Today’s newsletter is packed full of picks to not only get you through the rest of the night but the weekend as well. We have plenty of baseball and NBA action tonight and soccer for Saturday and Sunday.

First, let’s catch up on today’s news.

Now, let’s get to the picks.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Orioles at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Rangers (-121)
: This is not what anybody would consider a stellar pitching matchup. Mike Foltynewicz is in line to start for Texas, and he’s the proud owner of a 6.91 ERA since the start of last season (though in only 14.1 innings). He’ll be squaring off against Baltimore’s Jorge Lopez, who has an ERA of 7.34 in 38 innings since the start of last season. But while I don’t expect either pitcher to shut their opponent down tonight, I have far more faith in the Texas offense than I do Baltimore’s.

Texas’ offense has been just about league average against righties this season, currently ranking 17th in wOBA and 16th in wRC+. That’s a lot better than Baltimore, which ranks 27th in both against right-handers. That provides the Rangers enough of an edge in this matchup to provide value at this price.

Rick Gehman is joined by Larry Hartstein and Mike McClure to dish out the best bets for Friday. Download and subscribe to The Early Edge on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Key Trend: The Rangers have won six straight against Baltimore.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model agrees with my Rangers pick, but that agreement only goes so far. What it absolutely loves is the total, as it has an A-graded play on one side.

💰The Picks

Getty Images


Knicks at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Knicks +6 (-110) — 
While I’m not happy about it, the Knicks have been very profitable for me all season long, and tonight provides another chance to take advantage. I mean, if you’ve been following throughout the NBA season, you probably saw this play coming. We’ve been betting on the Knicks most of the year, and betting against the Mavs, so when the two meet, what else are we going to do? The Knicks are 13-7 ATS as road dogs this season, while the Mavs are 6-11 ATS as favorites at home. Dallas is the better team, but it’s never quite as good as the spread believes.

Key Trend: Dallas is 6-11 ATS as a home favorite this season.

⚽ Soccer

Wolverhampton vs. Sheffield United, Saturday, 3:15 p.m | TV: Peacock
The Pick: Wolverhampton (-150) — 
Sheffield United has nothing to play for but pride. It sits at the bottom of the Premier League table, 19 points away from safety with only seven matches left to play. In other words, a team that has won only four of 31 matches this season would need to win each of its last seven even to have a 5% chance of surviving. It won’t happen. This is a Sheffield team that has won only once in its last nine matches and has managed only three goals and 5.5 expected goals (xG) in that span. It stinks.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton has been playing pretty well lately, or at least better than its results. It’s won only once in its last six (with two draws) but has an xG advantage of 5.4-3.8 over its opponents in the last four matches. It should pick up another three points and climb closer to the top half of the table on Saturday.

Key Trend: Sheffield United has lost eight of its last night matches.

Napoli vs. Inter Milan, Sunday, 2:45 p.m | TV: ESPN+
The Pick: Over 2.5 (-115) — 
I don’t dare to bet against Inter these days. Inter hasn’t lost a match since losing to Juventus 2-1 in the Coppa Italia semis on Feb. 2. It hasn’t lost a league match since a stunning 2-1 loss to Sampdoria on Jan. 6 and has won 20 of 23 Serie A matches, including the last 11. That’s why Inter has the Scudetto (the league title) wrapped up already.

Napoli is currently in fifth place, chasing both Juventus and Atalanta for that fourth spot, but while it’s been playing better lately, I’m not sure it’s up to the task of taking down Inter. At least, not often enough to take it at the price offered. Instead, I’m attacking the total. Napoli has a dynamic attack (it’s averaging 1.78 xG in its last nine matches), but it also struggles defensively. Inter is explosive and efficient in attack and will have plenty of chances. This should be an entertaining, high-scoring affair.

Key Trend: Inter has scored at least two goals in nine of its last 14 matches.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model is off to a fast start in 2021, going 15-7 on all top-rated MLB picks through two weeks, and on Friday it has identified a four-leg parlay that would pay more than 7-1.

💸 The DFS Rundown


Building Blocks

PG: Terry Rozier, Hornets
SG: Bradley Beal, Wizards
SF: Michael Porter, Nuggets
PF: Zion Williamson, Pelicans
C: Nikola Vucevic, Bulls

Value Plays

PG: Malachi Flynn, Raptors
SG: Hamidou Diallo, Pistons
SF: Caleb Martin, Hornets
PF: Khem Birch, Raptors
C: Jusuf Nurkic, Blazers

Full lineup advice

Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.  

 ⚾ Friday Night HR Props


Betting each of these hitters to go deep tonight.

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