The Daily Sweat: The Los Angeles Clippers are favored on the road in an elimination game

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Do you trust the Los Angeles Clippers?

That’s the question to ask yourself before betting on Friday night’s Game 6 between the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks and Luka Doncic lead the first-round series 3-2 and host Game 6 but the Clippers are 3-point favorites at BetMGM.

It’s not too often that you get a home team in a series-clinching Game 6 at +115 on the money line, but the Clippers’ overall talent and overall popularity has positioned the Mavericks as underdogs.

The line makes sense if you trust the series’ home/road pattern. The road team has won each of the first five games in the series. That includes the Clippers winning in Dallas after going down 2-0 at home to start the series.

If you think it’s as simple as home and road, then go ahead and bet the Clippers. And then go with the Mavericks in Game 7.

But it’s not as simple as that. Los Angeles is 2-5 against the spread in its last seven games and also 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games as the favorite. The Clippers are also 2-6 against the spread in their last eight playoff games as a favorite and their last eight road games overall.

That’s a lot to dissuade you from betting the Clippers even before you remember how the team flamed out in the 2020 NBA playoffs after leading Denver 3-1. The Clippers seemed destined for another early exit after the Mavericks took a 2-0 lead to start this series but showed some fight after Dallas took a 30-11 lead to start Game 3.

Can Los Angeles win back-to-back games to advance to play the Utah Jazz? Sure. Will Los Angeles win back-to-back games? If you think that’s going to happen, you should wager some money on the Clippers to win the series. The Clips are +130 at BetMGM.

Yahoo Sports' Jared Quay, at least, likes Los Angeles to win Friday night. 

"I like the Clippers to take this to Game 7," Quay said. 

Prop bet we like: Los Angeles Clippers +6.5 in the first half

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27: P.J. Tucker #17 and Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrate against the Miami Heat during the third quarter in Game Three of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at American Airlines Arena on May 27, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Milwaukee is a four-point underdog on Saturday night. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Looking ahead to the East’s second round

With just one NBA playoff game on Friday night it’s worth looking ahead to the weekend when the Eastern Conference starts its second-round playoff series. The Brooklyn Nets are four-point favorites over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, and the Philadelphia 76ers are 2.5-point favorites against the Atlanta Hawks.

Wait as long as you can to bet the Sixers because of Joel Embiid’s status. While it doesn’t seem likely that Embiid will play — that’s why the line is so small with Philly at home — you should make sure that Embiid is out before you make a wager.

The Nets are the favored team of bettors to win the NBA Finals (+175), so you may find some value by betting the Bucks (+165) in this series as bettors favor the Nets. Milwaukee was extremely impressive against Miami in the first round and this series may be closer to a coin flip than you think.

Make some money in racing

There are three opportunities to win by betting auto racing over the weekend. Saturday features the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio. Ty Gibbs won the first road course race of the Xfinity Series season but is overvalued at +375. Go for a guy like AJ Allmendinger at +325 or Justin Allgaier at +750 instead. Austin Cindric is the favorite at +140.

Chase Elliott has been bet down to +210 ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma. That track is the only road course where Elliott hasn’t raced on and won in the Cup Series. Kyle Busch at +750 is probably the best value on the board. He’s been exceptional at Sonoma in recent years.

Sunday morning’s Formula 1 race is in Azerbaijan at a track where Mercedes has won three of the four races. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas is the defending race champion — he won in 2019 — and his odds are +800. It may be worth betting Bottas over either teammate Lewis Hamilton (+125) or Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (+125).

What are we betting on this afternoon?

Keep an eye on the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour. Only half the field finished their first rounds on Thursday because of thunderstorms, so see if you can find some value among golfers putting in more than a round on Friday. Collin Morikawa (+400) is the favorite after he completed his first round and shot a 6-under 66. Morikawa won at Muirfield Village a year ago though the course has undergone some significant renovations since that win.

England’s Mel Reid is tied for the first-round lead after the U.S. Women’s Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Reid shot a 4-under 67 and is the No. 7 favorite at +1800. Co-leader Megha Ganne — an amateur and high school junior — is at +5000 if you think she can sustain her hot start.

In baseball, the Atlanta Braves are getting 1.5 runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers at home. The Braves are starting Ian Anderson while Julio Urias starts for the Dodgers.

Who cashed tickets on Thursday?

The Phoenix Suns continued to make their bettors happy as they knocked the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers out of the playoffs with a 113-100 victory. Suns and the over was a nice two-way bet as Devin Booker had 47 points, and Anthony Davis played less than half the first quarter before he was unable to go any further because of a groin injury. 

The Denver Nuggets and the over were a smart bet on Tuesday night. The Nuggets pulled away late to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 126-115. It was the sixth time in the last seven games that a contest involving Denver had hit the over.

The Rays also made bettors some nice cash with a 9-2 win over the Yankees and Gerrit Cole. Tampa Bay was +165 on the moneyline and the over hit by an easy four runs. 

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