Best Bets for This Saturday- May 22, 2021

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

It’s mid-May and the NBA Playoffs are finally here. The field will be set with the final play-in game scheduled for Friday. There will be plenty of Game 1s to check out. 

The Stanley Cup playoffs continue this weekend with one team - Tampa Bay - that could potentially end a series on Saturday. The defending Stanley Cup champions are up 2-0 on Florida and will face the Panthers on Thursday before a Saturday afternoon Game 4. 

Out west, one of MLB’s great rivalries gets back at it for the first time this season with a three-game weekend series. With the division lead on the line, it will likely come down to pitching matchups. 

Here’s a look at your best bets for this weekend, but before we get into them, here’s the best bets for the weekend of May 15-16. 

Can Lightning End Series? 

There is typically a bit of a letdown when a team goes up 2-0 in a playoff series. The series shifts to the underdog’s venue and often the favorite takes the foot off the gas. Tampa Bay and Florida will play Game 3 on Thursday. 

If the Lightning win Game 3, they would have the opportunity to sweep the series with the Panthers and get some well-deserved rest before their next series begins. 

The Panthers won five of eight games over the Lightning during the regular season, but remember Tampa Bay is a top-10 scoring team and a top-10 defense. And, they have former league MVP Nikita Kucherov back in the lineup after he missed the entire regular season. 

The total in all the Lightning-Panthers’ games this season has either been 5.5 or 6. With both teams’ ability to score, expect 6 and look for both teams to let it all hang out with a potential series-ender on the line. Bet the Over on Saturday. 

We also have the PGA Championship going on in South Carolina. Take a look at our article that brought you up to speed when betting PGA Majors. 

Rip City at Elevation 

Portland travels to Denver for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. The two teams met in the season finale just last week. The Trail Blazers won 132-116, but none of the Nuggets starters, including MVP candidate Nikola Jokic, played more than 20 minutes. It was a favorite for anyone offering free picks. 

Now, the Trail Blazers will be tasked with playing at altitude in Denver. It takes some getting used to, but it may just slow down Damian Lillard (28.8 ppg) enough for bettors to play the Under.  

Playing at elevation is tough on players that aren’t used to. Portland played in Denver one time this season and managed just 106 points well below its average of 116.1 per game.  

What many may forget is that Denver is a top-10 defense. With the total in the 230 range, look for the Nuggets to tame the Portland backcourt of Lillard and C.J. McCollum in Game 1 and take this total Under. Play it down to 229. 

Back Buehler vs. Webb 

If the Dodgers-Giants series is all about pitching matchups, back Walker Buehler against  Logan Webb on Saturday.  

Buehler is 2-0 on the season with a 2.98 ERA. In his last outing against Arizona, Buehler went seven innings, gave up one hit, no runs, and struck out seven. The Dodgers won 3-1. We recently wrote an article that outlined the 2021 MLB betting stats so far. 

Webb is 3-3 overall with an ERA of 4.09. Webb’s last start was solid as he gave up six hits and no runs in six innings, but his previous three starts were not so good. He gave up 14 hits and 10 earned runs in 15.2 innings.  

The Dodgers will likely be favored, but back the stronger pitcher in this one.

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