Celtics-Sixers spread in the NBA Playoffs, a Wells Fargo golf pick: Best Bets for May 3

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Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) slams a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half of Game 1 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Monday, May 1, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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 Wednesday, May 3:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, Celtics -8 over Sixers

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

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

Our take: We have said this a lot lately, but when there’s an overwhelming “fade the public” kind of play, it becomes an almost automatic best bet. Here’s a perfect example.

Coming off an upset outright victory at The Garden on Monday night, Joe Q. Public and his Aunt Mabel think this spread is like free money, so they jump on it. Problem is, it’s anything but free money.

Sure, Joel Embiid likely will miss his second straight game, which didn’t mean all that much in Game 1. However, the Celtics are desperate to finish this mini-homestand off with a statement before they head to Philly for Games 3 and 4, and they want to leave no doubt.

Boston has now covered the spread in five straight games following a loss, including a 140-99 thrashing of Milwaukee on March 30 – two days after losing by 19 to Washington. Oh, wait … this just happens to be two days after a close loss to the Sixers.

Love the fight from Philadelphia in Game 1, but this seems like a no-contest early here in Boston.

WELLS FARGO TOP 20

The play: Wells Fargo Championship, Xander Schauffele to finish in the top 20

The odds: -130

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: Thursday through Sunday on Golf Channel, ESPN+ and Peacock; on Saturday and Sunday on CBS

Our take: With weather being almost no factor for the first two rounds, and the way he has played so far in this calendar year, there might not be a player we like more to make the cut and have a nice start than Schauffele.

While he does not have the length that will help him overall against some of the big boppers on this longer-than-normal course of Quail Hollow, he should be able to put himself in good positions to score on even the toughest of holes. Even if he strays from the fairway, the rough here is not all that difficult, and Schauffele should be able to find a way to remain in contention throughout.

We don’t love his odds to win at +1600, but top 10 (+180) does seem like another good option here.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Tuesday’s best bets

NBA playoffs: Lakers +5 over Warriors (WIN)

MLB money-line parlay: Mets over Tigers and Yankees over Guardians (Mets-Tigers was rained out, which makes this a single-game money-line play. WIN)

Tuesday’s record: 2-0

Total for the week: 3-1

Total for May: 3-1

Total for 2023: 91-106

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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