Wednesday, February 8

How to watch and how to bet the mother of all sports weekends

This Mother’s Day weekend is jam-packed with some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and having some skin in the game can help. From NBA and NHL playoff games to world-class racing, title fights and spring staples such as the WNBA and Sunday Night Baseball, there’s plenty on tap to keep you glued to your television.

What to watch, what to bet this weekend:

Saturday’s Schedule

  • NHL: Panthers @ Capitals, Game 3, 1 p.m. ET on ESPN

  • NBA: Celtics @ Bucks, Game 3, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

  • WNBA: Sun @ Liberty, 6 p.m. ET on ESPN

  • Horse Racing: Kentucky Derby, 6:57 p.m. ET on NBC

  • NBA: Grizzlies @ Warriors, Game 3, 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC

  • MMA: UFC 274 Main Event, Oliveira vs. Gaethje, 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+

  • Boxing: Canelo Alverez vs Dmitry Bivol, 11 p.m. ET (approx), DAZN PPV

Sunday’s Schedule

Saturday’s Events

Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals
Game 3, 1:00 p,m, ET, Capital One Arena, Washington, DC, ESPN

Line: Panthers (-200), Capitals (+170)
Puck Line: Panthers -1.5 (+130). Capitals +1.5 (-150) total: 6.5

Greg Wyshynski: Maybe the Caps’ one goal in Game 2 spooked the betting market, because this team total feels undervalued. Washington averaged 3.15 goals per game at home during the regular season. They scored 5 goals in both home games against Florida this season.

Pick: Capitals over 2.5 team total (-135)

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks
Game 3, 3:30 p.m, ET, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI, ABC

Line: Bucks (-2.0)
Money line: Bucks (-125), Celtics (+105)
Total: 213.0

Doug Kezirian: The juice is pricey but I think it’s well worth the risk. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 12 assists in Game 1 and seven in Game 2. So even with that abysmal offensive performance from Milwaukee, he still finished over this number. I expect a bounce-back effort from the Bucks, especially because role players typically shoot better at home. Additionally, following a Game 1 win, Milwaukee relaxed a bit and laid a dud in both rounds of these playoffs. In Game 3 against Chicago, Antetokounmpo tallied nine assists in 29 minutes in a 30-point Milwaukee win. I still think this Game 3 will be close but that also means he should log more minutes. This has all the makings of a sharp and crisp Bucks performance, enabling Antetokounmpo to rack up assists.

Pick: Giannis over 6.5 assists (-150)

Connecticut Sun at New York Liberty
6:00 p.m. ET, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY, ESPN

Line: Sun (-6)

André Snellings: Based on who these teams were last season, this game projects as a blowout. The Sun averaged a NetRtg (e.g. Offensive Rating minus Defensive Rating) of 11.1 points per 100 possessions, while the Liberty averaged a NetRtg of -8.2 points per 100 possessions. That difference of roughly 19.3 points per 100 possessions held true in their three matchups last season, with the Sun winning all three by an average of 22.3 PPG, with the closest win by 17 points. It’s a new season, but the core players are the same, so until we start getting feedback from this season I’m expecting the Sun to roll.

Pick: Sun (-6)

148th running of the Kentucky Derby
6:57 p.m. ET, Churchill Downs, KY, NBC

Favorites: Zandon (3-1), Epicenter (7-2), Messier (8-1)
Post Position: Mo Donegal (10-1)

Chris Fallica: Zandon put it all together in an awesome win at the Blue Grass Stakes, where he pounced from off the pace and drew off. He has arguably the best jockey in the country in Flavien Prat and landed a good spot in the post draw. There’s very little, if anything, to suggest he will not run his race Saturday and at the very least post a top-three finish.

Distance isn’t a question for Cyberknife, but it’s just a matter whether he’s good enough and whether Florent Geroux can work out a good trip off the pace from Post 16. I think the answer to both is yes. He is one of the more likely winners Saturday. Remember that last year Mandaloun was 27-1 before eventually being declared the winner after Medina Spirit was disqualified.

Picks:(10) Zandon, (16) Cyberknife

Anita Marks: There are two horses with 20-1 odds that I will be betting to win Saturday. Charge It, a Pletcher horse, has Luis Saez as his jockey. Pletcher has said that he is his favorite 3-year-old and even though this will be only his third race (he finished second in the Florida Derby), he is starting to peak. This horse has all the pedigree, drew a great post position, and will only get better as the race goes on.

Cyberknife, a Brad Cox horse, has Geroux as his jockey. They are coming off a win in the Arkansas Derby five weeks ago and Cyberknife has been training well over the past three months. He has the speed to be in a good position when needed — even though he drew the 16th post.

Picks: (8) Charge It, (16) Cyberknife

More: Best Bets for the Kentucky Derby

Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Game 3, 8:30 p.m. ET, Chase Center, San Francisco, CA ABC

Line: Warriors -7
Money line: Warriors (-300), Grizzlies (+240)
Total: 225.5

Eric Moody: The unfortunate injury suffered by Gary Payton II after he was fouled hard by Dillon Brooks benefits Ja Morant. Immediately following his injury, Morant’s performance changed. He finished with a playoff career high 47 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. The Warriors will have a hard time slowing him down.

UFC 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje
10:00 p.m. ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ, ESPN+ PPV

Fighters: Charles Oliveira (32-8-0) vs. Justin Gaethje (123-3-0)
Line: Oliveira (-165), Gaethje (+145)

Ian Parker: Oliveira had to fight through adversity in his past two fights to not only get the win but also get the finish within two rounds. Will lightning strike a third time for the champ? I cannot confidently say yes. Oliveira’s path to victory is on the ground if he can take Gaethje’s back. However, Oliveira has become way too comfortable on the feet and was dropped by both Chandler and Poirier in the first round. If Oliveira cannot get the fight to the canvas early, I think Gaethje’s leg kicks and punching power will be too much for the champ and he will not be able to recover. Gaethje has been more poised and methodical under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman. I expect Wittman to have a strong game plan for Oliviera and add another champ to his ledger.

Pick: Gaethje to win (+145)

More: How to bet UFC 274: Expert picks and best bets (ESPN+)

WBA light heavyweight title
approx. 11:00 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV. How to watch

Fighters: Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) vs. Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs)
Line: Alvarez (-550), Bivol (+400)

Joe Fortenbaugh: Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is without a shadow of a doubt the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game today. But he’s moving up from super middleweight to light heavyweight for this fight where he’ll be surrendering almost five inches in height to the undefeated Bivol. Bivol, the WBA light heavyweight champ, has elite ring intelligence, is excellent with his range and has proven to be a very active worker. Given Bivol’s skillset, coupled with oddsmakers pricing the total at 10.5 rounds and juicing the over to -270, I see this one going to the cards with Canelo notching his ninth straight victory.

Pick: Alvarez by decision (-140)

Sunday’s Events

Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins
Game 4, 12:30 p.m. ET, TD Garden, Boston, MA, ESPN

Line: Bruins (-135), Hurricanes (+115)
Puckline: Bruins -1.5 (+190), Hurricanes +1.5 (-230)
Total: 5.5

Greg Wyshynski: Check back later for Wyshynki’s pick for this game.

Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix
3:25 p.m, ET, Miami, FLA, ABC

Favorites: Charles Leclerc (+125), Max Verstappen (+140)

Mike Clay: How do you not take Verstappen at anything close to even money right now? There have been five races this season, including the sprint in Italy two weeks ago. Verstappen has won all three races that he’s finished and was in contention for the win in the two from which he had to retire early due to car issues.

Pick: Max Verstappen (+140) to win

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks
Game 4, 3:30 pm ET, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX, ESPN

Line: TBD
Money line: TBD
Total: TBD

Best Bet Coming Soon: Check back later for our best bet for this game

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
7:00 p.m ET, Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, ESPN

Line: TBD)
Money line: TBD
Total: TBD

Best Bet Coming Soon:&nbs

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers
Game 4, 8:00 pm ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA, TNT

Line: 76ers (-1.5)
Money line: 76ers (-130) Heat (+110)
Total: 207.5

Best Bet Coming Soon: Check back later for our best bet for this game

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