NBA playoffs, Celtics-Heat Game 1; PGA Championship pick: Best Bets for May 17

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) passes past Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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 17:


The play: NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1, Heat +8 over Celtics

The odds: -106

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

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

Our take: The Heat unquestionably have been the surprise of this season’s playoffs. But the eighth seed making it to the Eastern Conference Finals has to be the end of the line against the defending conference champs, right?

Not so fast. While it would be a major surprise if they were to advance to the NBA Championship (just take a look at their +430 odds to win this series and +1000 odds STILL to win the title), it would be an even bigger shock if they didn’t compete here.

One advantage Miami has going for it is that the team should be well-rested after taking care of the Knicks in six games. Meanwhile, the Celtics just finished a tough series against the Sixers – needing to win the final two games – on Sunday afternoon.

We’re not advocating taking the Heat on the money line, but it seems like eight points are way too many, especially in Game 1.


The play: PGA Championship, Xander Schauffle to finish in the top 20

The odds: -150

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

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

Our take: As we told you in our PGA Championship full preview Wednesday, we’re riding Schauffele, just like we did a couple of weeks ago in this same spot when he came through with exactly the same odds in the Wells Fargo.

Maybe the most consistent golfer on Tour this year – or at least the past couple of months (along with Jon Rahm) – Schauffele has five consecutive top-10 finishes. If you want to take more of a gamble and grab him top 10 at +190, we’re not going to stop you, but we like a safer route here.

Weather shouldn’t be an issue at Oak Hill for the first couple of days. Actually, Schauffle has the advantage of playing late Thursday-early Friday to avoid the first round cold weather with temps Thursday morning hovering around 40 degrees. (Friday morning, it’s supposed to be in the low- to mid-50s.)


Tuesday’s best bets

NBA playoffs: Nuggets -6 over Lakers (PUSH)

MLB total: Rays-Mets under 9 runs (LOST)

Tuesday’s record: 0-1

Total for the week: 2-1

Total for May: 17-14

Total for 2023: 105-119

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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