NBA

The Brewers are fine and will prove it tonight against the Marlins, plus other best bets for the weekend

Do you remember that song “Friday” by Rebecca Black? It’s the one that was so terrible it was good and became a meme. I haven’t thought about that song in a very long time, but as I sit here writing this and looking out the window at a beautiful, sunny day, the dang thing popped into my head.

And now it’s stuck there! I was having such a wonderful week and fully prepared to follow it up with a great weekend, but now that’s all being threatened by an earworm intent on eating my brain until nothing is left but mush and the words “Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.”

It’s terrible, and if you’re wondering if the only reason I’m telling you about this is with the intent of getting it stuck in your head too, yes, that’s precisely why I’m doing it! Please don’t make me suffer alone! Let us suffer together!

Perhaps reading these stories will help clear our minds?

All right, it’s Friday, Friday, gotta make picks on Friday. Everybody’s trying to get rich this weekend.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Brewers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Brewers (+130)
: Listen, I understand why some people might be scared off the Brewers right now. They’ve lost five straight and still don’t have Christian Yelich. Meanwhile, the Marlins have won three straight. But those three wins came against a bad Arizona team, and you might be aware of the fact the Marlins play in the NL East.

Well, you remember how we feel about the NL East, don’t you? The entire division stinks right now, and while our principle-in-waiting is fading NL East favorites in divisional games, I see far too much value on the Brewers in this spot. Milwaukee’s losing streak combined with Miami having its ace Trevor Rogers on the mound skews the line. As is the fact Rogers was solid in his last start against Milwaukee, striking out seven over six innings as the Marlins won 8-0.

The Brewers are a better team than the Marlins. That might not be the case right now, but I don’t think the gap between these teams justifies the price.

Key Trend: The Brewers are 6-2 in their last eight as road dogs.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: Not only does the Advanced Computer Model have a healthy lean on one side of the total in this game, but two SportsLine experts have picks in on the money line too. But do they agree with me? 


💰 The Picks


USATSI

⚾ MLB

Blue Jays at Astros, 8:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 9 (+100) — 
Houston’s Minute Maid Park isn’t as hitter friendly as most people seem to think. Sure, it’s home run friendly (Statcast’s ballpark factors rate it as the eight-most HR friendly park in the league), but as for other extra-base hits, it’s generally favored pitchers more than hitters.

While dingers could be a factor tonight with these two offenses, I still think this total is a bit too optimistic. Toronto starter Ross Stripling‘s peripherals are better than his raw numbers indicate, and while he’s been homer prone, he’s backed by one of the best bullpens in baseball this season.

Key Trend: The under is 4-1 in Houston’s last five home games.

⚽ Soccer

Manchester City vs. Chelsea, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. | TV: NBC
The Pick: Under 2.5 (-150) — 
It’s an early Champions League final preview and it’s also a chance to prepare ourselves for the fact that the final might be somewhat dull. Since Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea, the team has allowed only four goals in 11 away matches, and it’s allowed an average of 0.42 expected goals (xG) in those matches. Tuchel’s overhauled the team’s defense, and it’s incredibly stingy on the road. Only Porto managed more than 0.5 xG against Chelsea in any of those matches.

Also, if we look at the FA Cup semifinal between these two in April (they play every three weeks now!), it wasn’t an offensive showcase. Man City took 11 shots, but most were from distance, and only three were on target. Chelsea only had three of its own in a 1-0 win. I don’t think Saturday’s meeting will look all that different.

Key Trend: Only three of Chelsea’s 24 matches under Thomas Tuchel have seen three goals or more scored.

West Ham vs. Everton, Sunday, 11:30 a.m. | TV: NBCSN
The Pick: West Ham (+127) — 
I don’t want to say that Everton has been lucky this season, because that would undercut the work that Carlo Ancelotti has done with this team, and it is a good team. Still … it’s gotten pretty lucky! If you look at the Premier League table, only one team in the top half has a negative xG differential, and it isn’t Arsenal in ninth or Aston Villa in tenth. Nope, it’s Everton, which has an xG differential of -3.8 on the season, which works out to -0.11 per match. That latter number ranks 11th in the league, yet here Everton sits with a slim chance to reach the Europa League — a chance that would improve with a win over West Ham on Sunday.

But I don’t think that win is coming. West Ham was somewhat lucky itself earlier this season, as its results were better than its overall play, but the regression has already come, and West Ham is still solid. When you look at recent results, aside from a 3-2 loss to Newcastle, everything’s gone as it should. I can say the same for Everton, but unfortunately, those results include only one win in its last eight matches. West Ham ends Everton’s European pipe dream this weekend while solidifying its own.

Key Trend: Everton has only one win in its last nine matches.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Sportsline’s NBA expert Mike Barner has been lighting up lately, going 26-15 in his last 41 NBA spread picks, and he has a play available for tonight’s game between the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves.


💸 The DFS Rundown


USATSI

Building Blocks

PG: Delon Wright, Kings
SG: Terry Rozier, Celtics
SF: Jimmy Butler, Heat
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
C: Joel Embiid, Sixers

Value Plays

PG: Alex Caruso, Lakers
SG: Armoni Brooks, Rockets
SF: Maurice Harkless, Kings
PF: Jarred Vanderbilt, Wolves
C: Mo Bamba, Magic

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.


 🏀 NBA Player Props

  • Cole Anthony Over 4.5 rebounds (-160)
  • Aaron Gordon Over 1.5 assists (-170)
  • Julius Randle Over 8.5 rebounds (+115)
  • Kyle Kuzma Over 5.5 rebounds (+100)



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