Lakers-Warriors in NBA playoffs and Friday night MLB action: Best Bets for May 12

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Baltimore Orioles' Gunnar Henderson, left, is greeted at the dugout by Austin Hays, right, after scoring on a groundout by Jorge Mateo during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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, May 12:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA playoffs, Lakers -3 over Warriors

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 10 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: The easy narrative is that the Golden State Warriors flipped the script of this series with their easy win in Game 5, that the pressure is on the Lakers, that Anthony Davis is injured and won’t perform and that the champions will rise to the top.

Plus, that dog on Twitter predicted the Warriors would fall behind 3-1 and then come back and win the series!

But what if … what if the Warriors are still just 13-34 on the road this year, including losses in Games 3 and 4 of this series? What if Davis is fine after suffering a head injury in Game 5 and will be ready to prove that he’s a bit tougher than people make him out to be? What if the Warriors just aren’t a great team outside of Steph Curry’s magical offense? What if L.A. hasn’t lost a home game since March 26?

Give me the Lakers to close it out.

TIME TO TAKE THE ORIOLES FOR REAL

The play: MLB, Orioles -1½ runs over Pirates

The odds: +128

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:05 p.m. (ESPN+)

Our take: Two of the early surprises in Major League Baseball — the Pirates more so than the Orioles — meet in Baltimore for a big interleague series. The starting pitching matchup here is underwhelming: Johan Oviedo (5.59 ERA, 33 Ks in 37 innings) for Pittsburgh against Kyle Bradish (5.95 ERA, 18 Ks in 19⅔ innings) for Baltimore, which means plenty of runs should be scored.

That type of game should make it easier to cover a run line, even for a home team, and Baltimore’s offense has been terrific all year. The O’s rank eighth in baseball with 192 runs scored and a .750 OPS. They’ve played a tough schedule and have come through it with a sterling 24-13 record and +29 run differential, which ranks third in the American League.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is still a good story but has fallen off dramatically since its schedule got more difficult a couple of weeks ago. In fact, the Pirates already played some AL East contenders in Toronto and Tampa Bay, and they emerged with six straight losses by a combined score of 37-7. Only one of those games finished within a run, so we’re getting good plus value here at Orioles -1½.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NBA playoffs: Celtics series line over 76ers (PENDING)

NBA playoffs: Devin Booker OVER 32.5 points vs. Nuggets (LOST)

Thursday’s record: 0-1, 1 pending

Total for the week: 4-2, 2 pending

Total for May: 11-9, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 99-114, 2 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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