Suns’ Deandre Ayton will continue to go over his props, other best bets for Monday

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and won every single one of your bets. If you did, let’s keep that run going. If you didn’t, let’s get hot today.

There was a lot of big news in sports over the weekend, but selfishly, the story that stood out to me was Damian Lillard basically saying, “I”m not demanding a trade, but know that I could demand a trade.” Which, in the environment of an NBA offseason, automatically becomes “HE’S GONE!” and then people start photoshopping him into Lakers, Knicks and Celtics jerseys.

And maybe he’ll end up there! Our Sam Quinn went and ranked all 29 possible destinations for Lillard this summer based on what made the most sense. From a theater perspective, I know that having Damian Lillard in New York with the Knicks would be fun, but it’s important to remember that I hate the Knicks, and I don’t want them to be fun.

What would be a lot more fun would be for Lillard to join the Bulls. Now, as Sam went over in his rankings, the Bulls might make sense for Lillard, but they don’t have the kind of assets it’s likely to take to pry him away from Portland. So that’s why I’m asking Damian Lillard to force his way to Chicago by any means necessary.

Please, Dame, I know you read this newsletter. How could you not? Come to Chicago! It’s great! We have pizza, and not just the deep-dish!

Now, for tonight’s picks.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Clippers at Suns, 9 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Deandre Ayton Over 16.5 points (-125)
: At the rate the NBA playoffs are going, I’ll be able to put an addition on the house, and if I do, I’m going to name it The Deandre Ayton Wing because he’ll have paid for it. Honestly, I’m not sure why nobody has caught on to this yet, but Ayton has routinely gone over his props throughout the postseason. I have noticed the points and rebounds prop we’ve been pounding creeping further and further up, lessening the value, though.

But this point total is still too low. Ayton is averaging 20.3 points per game through the first four games of this series and is yet to score fewer than 18 points than any of them. Ivica Zubac has played well for the Clippers, but as a team, their defensive focus has left Ayton as an available option for the Suns wings, and they haven’t been afraid to take advantage of it.

Key Trend: Ayton is shooting 69.6% (39-for-56) in the series.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: Three different SportsLine experts have put in picks for tonight, and they’ve covered the spread, total and money line. It’s a bonanza of picks!

💰 The Picks

âš¾ MLB

Diamondbacks at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 9 (+100) — 
There’s some risk of rain in the forecast for this game tonight, but odds are it won’t be enough to halt the game or cancel it. And if it doesn’t, the rest of the forecast calls for balls flying all around Busch Stadium.

It’s looking like it’ll be hot and humid, with winds blowing out to left-center, and Busch Stadium begins to feel tiny when the weather conditions are right. Nor does it hurt my confidence that both pitchers starting tonight have shown a tendency to allow hard contact and fly balls.

Key Trend: The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 7.5 (-137) — 
This game has an excellent pitching matchup between the Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer and San Francisco’s Anthony DeSclafani, but this total underestimates both offenses in this game just a little. The listed total is at 8, but I’m taking an alternate total of 7.5 because there’s more value on it in my calculations.

When it comes to Bauer, he strikes out a lot of hitters, but he also walks plenty and gives up a lot of flyball contact. The Giants offense ranks fifth in baseball in wOBA against righties and second in HR%. As for DeSclafani, he’s not nearly the strikeout threat that Bauer is, but while he walks fewer batters, he’s prone to allowing fly balls as well. He’ll be facing a Dodgers offense that ranks second in baseball in both wRC+ and wOBA against righties.

Key Trend: The over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine’s Matt Severance has gone 173-112 in his last 285 NHL picks for a return of 18.5 units. Tonight he has a play available on the total of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens.

💸 The DFS Rundown

Top Three Starters

  • Freddy Peralta, Brewers
  • Kenta Maeda, Twins
  • Trevor Bauer, Dodgers

Value Starter

Today’s Top Stack

  • Michael Brantley, Astros
  • Yuli Gurriel, Astros
  • Yordan Alvarez, Astros

Value Hitter

âš¾ Underdog Parlay


Let’s bet two dogs on the money line tonight, shall we? This parlay pays out a healthy +468.

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