NBA playoffs clincher and digging deep for an MLB pick: Best Bets for April 28

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Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (15) defends against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/José Luis Villegas)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Friday, April 28:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA playoffs, Warriors -7½ over Kings

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: The Sacramento Kings started this series with two emotional home victories, basically took the night off in Game 3 and then barely came up short in a comeback attempt in Game 4. Back at home for the pivotal fifth game, the Kings fell victim to the same Warriors’ second-half flurry that so many other teams have over the past eight years or so of this Golden State dynasty.

That’s big trouble for the Kings, whose most likely path to winning this series contained four home victories given how much Golden State has struggled on the road this year.

Back in San Francisco and facing a long road back to the series win, it’s easy to see Sacramento wilting here. Add in the fact that De’Aaron Fox went 9 for 25 from the floor in his first game with a finger fracture, and it’s hard to see how the Kings keep up.

RIDING THE HOT HAND

The play: MLB first five innings, Pirates team total OVER 2½ runs vs. Nationals

The odds: +100

The book: DraftKings

Our take: The Pirates, in case you hadn’t noticed, have the second-best record in all of Major League Baseball. Yes, the same Pirates that were supposed to finish in the NL Central cellar are leading the division, thanks in large part to an offense that is sixth in baseball with a .772 OPS and leads MLB by a wide margin with 37 stolen bases.

They’ve also made a habit of scoring early, scoring in one of the first two innings in a remarkable 11 of their past 12 games. In some cases, those runs have come in bunches, and Friday night seems like a prime opportunity for more of that against Nationals starter Chad Kuhl, who has allowed four or more earned runs in three of his four starts.

At even money, this is exceptional value for Pittsburgh to get at least three runs in the first five innings.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NFL draft, Michael Mayer UNDER draft position 23.5 (LOST)

NFL draft, Jaxon Smith-Njigba UNDER draft position 12.5 (LOST)

Thursday’s record: 0-2

Total for the week: 1-5, 1 pending

Total for April: 21-31, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 86-101, 1 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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