NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 pick, Rays-Mets total: Best Bets for May 16

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Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, center, drives to the rim past Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant, left, as Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar looks on in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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 Tuesday, May 16:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA Western Conference Finals, Nuggets (-6) over Lakers

The odds: -114

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: Both the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers have excelled at setting the tone in Game 1 during their playoff runs, but something will have to give tonight now that they’re facing each other.

The Nuggets have been nearly unstoppable at home this postseason, and while the Lakers have done an excellent job of winning on the road even in tough environments, we’re banking on Nikola Jokic and company to keep their momentum going.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis will likely keep the Lakers in it for most of the game, but we like the Nuggets to cover since they have the deeper roster to where they should be able to pull away in the fourth quarter with their home crowd backing them.

RAYS-METS UNDER

The play: MLB run total, Rays at Mets UNDER nine runs

The odds: -102

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:10 p.m. (MLB Extra Innings)

Our take: The Rays have been involved in some high-scoring affairs over the weekend against the Yankees, but we’re expecting their run total to drop tonight against Justin Verlander and the Mets.

The Rays are set to make a bullpen start with Jalen Beeks as the opener, but they’ve got a quality long reliever in Yonny Chirinos, who should enter the game after a few innings and be able to contain a Mets lineup that hasn’t been as strong as expected.

While the Rays’ lineup is one of the best in MLB, Verlander should be able to limit them enough for the under to hit, as he’s been his usual ace self since returning from the IL.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Monday’s best bets

  • MLB run total, Brewers at Cardinals OVER eight runs (WON)
  • MLB strikeout prop, Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly OVER 6.5 strikeouts at A’s (WON)

Monday’s record: 2-0

Total for the week: 2-0

Total for May: 17-13

Total for 2023: 105-118

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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