Celtics will push Warriors to the brink, plus other best bets for Friday

I’ve made no secret of my feelings for White Sox manager Tony La Russa, but I’m also reasonable enough to know that when a team isn’t performing well, it’s more about the players than coaches or managers.

But then Thursday happened. It was at this point that La Russa decided to deliberately lead Trea Turner with a 1-2 count. The count had been 0-2 when Freddie Freeman stole second to open first, and La Russa thought he’d rather see his left-hander Bennett Sousa against struggling left-hander Max Muncy than Turner, whom Sousa already had two against had scored strikes.

It was a decision that had no logical or statistical basis. Even the idea of ​​playing lefties against lefties is meaningless considering Muncy hits lefties better than Trea Turner hits everyone with two shots, and, oh yeah, lefties did better than righties against Bennett Sousa. As you no doubt heard, Muncy hit a three-run homer, the White Sox lost by two runs (those three runs were significant!) and La Russa defended his decision afterwards and had the gall to pretend you were the idiot for not getting it.

Now I am ready. It’s one thing to watch a team underperform; it’s another to watch it underperform when you don’t have faith in the person who’s supposed to be piloting the ship. Every day that the White Sox doesn’t fire Tony La Russa is an insult to the team’s fans and a message from the ownership that they don’t matter.

However, you are important to me, so I would appreciate it if you would not rub salt in the wound and read these stories.

Now let’s find things to bet on to take my mind off a baseball team that’s making me miserable.

All Eastern times and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


The hot ticket

Warriors at Celtics, 9 p.m. | TV: ABC

Latest Odds:

Boston Celtics-170

  • key trend: Boston covered the last four meetings in Boston.
  • The Pick: Celtics (-170)

In case you were hoping for something different here today. The only thing that has changed is that we should have more confidence in the Celtics than we already have. None of this is to say that tonight’s result is set in stone. The Warriors, the fading star that they are, still have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. If these two decide to play One Of These Nights, no team in the NBA can do anything about it, even one with a defense as strong as Boston.

Also, there is a worrying trend for this Boston team in the postseason. The Celtics have won 14 games in the playoffs, but since sweeping the nets in the first round, they’ve gone 3-6 on victories.

Despite this, Boston is the better team – especially at home. Golden State was only going 25-24 in the regular season and only going 3-5 in the playoffs. The Warriors aren’t the same team outside of The Bay as they are inside. Tonight the Celtics are pushing them to the brink.

This is what SportsLine says about the game: If you’re looking for more in this game, SportsLine’s Ameer Tyree has released his favorite picks for the scatter, total, and also a player prop.


The picks

USATSI

MLB

Brewers at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. | Television: MLB.TV

Latest Odds:

Washington nationals +160

The Choice: Citizens (+160) — I want to share a snippet of an email I received from a reader named Justin. Don’t worry, Justin allowed me to share it here. I edited it a bit because some of the phrases used were not intended for a family newsletter like this.

“You’ve recommended betting on the Nationals a couple of times this season and as a Nationals fan, I’m here to tell you to stop. You are terrible. They can’t bat, they can’t pitch, and they can’t catch. On the rare occasions they manage to do one of those three things, they get worse doing the other two. I can hardly bear to watch them let alone bet on them so please stop telling me.

I’m sorry Justin! The fact that they are so bad makes them a good value because no one believes they are capable of winning any game but by the end of the season they will win about 40% of them! Maybe one of those wins will be tonight!

Key trend: The Brewers have lost seven straight games as favorites.

Dodgers at Giants, 10:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN+

Latest Odds:

under 9

The Choice: Under 9 (-120) — I love watching the Dodgers and Giants late into the night. It’s a great rivalry that often results in fun games. Tonight should be no different but I don’t expect too many runs to be scored. First, Tony La Russa isn’t there to purposely escort Dodgers hitters when they’re about to hit out. Second, this is an excellent pitching matchup.

Most people know Walker Buehler, but Jake Junis from San Francisco is not a household name. Junis was with the royals for a while, showing strobes but was inconsistent. He’s now San Francisco’s newest reclamation project, having posted a 2.51 ERA over 43 innings this year. While his strikeout rate is average, he doesn’t walk anyone and induces ground balls. He’s played similarly to Buehler this year, and if you combine their profiles with Oracle Park at night, we should see a low-scoring affair.

Key trend: The Under is 5-2 in their last seven encounters in San Francisco.

🔒 SportsLine Picks of the Day: The projection model has an A-rated game on the moneyline in today’s game between the Phillies and Diamondbacks, and as if that wasn’t enough, SportsLine pundits Matt Severance and John Bollman agree.


WNBA underdog parlay

Like my NHL bets, my WNBA bets are nothing more than numbers games, and as such it’s hard to find better money lines in sports betting than what you get on WNBA underdogs. Let’s try to collect that with two in a parlay tonight pays +530.

  • Indiana Fever (+110)
  • Dallas Wings (+200)

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