It’s a busy day across the board, as early spring usually has in store for sports fans. NHL is wrapping up the regular season, NBA is beginning the postseason with its play-in tournament and MLB is finishing up its first full week.
As the weekend nears, here’s a look at Thursday’s rundown.
Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs
There are a combined 192 points between the Capitals and Maple Leafs when they meet at 7 p.m. ET. Toronto has clinched a playoff berth with 100 points while Washington is likely to secure a wild card bid with a 15-point advantage. We’ll also get to watch two of the league’s elite goal-scorers in Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin.
Toronto has the third-best offense and Washington the eighth-best defense leading to a compelling matchup. The Capitals are 38-35 against the spread versus Toronto’s 32-41.
The Maple Leafs -1.5 with an over/under of 7.5. We’ll go Capitals +1.5.
Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers
It’s a strength on strength matchup as the Hawks and Cavaliers meet in a play-in tournament elimination at 7:30 p.m. ET. Atlanta is sixth in scoring and Cleveland is fifth defensively. The Cavaliers are the beneficiary of an extra day of rest while the Hawks play a back-to-back.
Cleveland battled with Brooklyn with Darius Garland trying to take over. He’ll be called upon again against Trae Young to avoid elimination.
The Hawks are favored by 2.5 with an over/under of 225.5. Cleveland is 42-37-3 against the spread and 25-16 at home, so we’ll take them as home ‘dogs.
St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
It should be a good pitching matchup between Brandon Woodruff and Miles Mikolas as the Brewers host the Cardinals at 5:14 p.m. ET. St. Louis has the league’s second-best offense to start the season, scoring 6.25 runs per game, and Milwaukee is giving up 4.59 runs per game. Though St. Louis also allows four runs per game.
The Cardinals have won the last four meetings in Milwaukee, and six of the last seven in the series overall. Riding the hot bat of Nolan Arenado, who has three homers and three doubles, seems like the play.
The line opened at Brewers -1 with an over/under of 7.5. We’ll take the Cardinals outright.
Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Kevin Gausman was a key acquisition for the Blue Jays and he’ll get the ball in Yankee Stadium against comeback story Luis Severino and the Yankees at 7:05 p.m. ET. Coming off his first All-Star appearance, Gausman allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings in his new threads.
Toronto’s offense has been solid, ranking eighth at 4.92 runs per game and second with 1.87 home runs per contest. But the bad has been defensively, 1.7 home runs per game and a .777 OPS. New York is ninth offensively in OPS and seventh in home runs.
The Yankees are favored by a run with an over/under of 8.5. Despite the bump names, expect runs in this one. We’ll go with Toronto as Gausman should eat innings.
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers were clowned by Minnesota and former teammate Patrick Beverly and now welcome the Pelicans on a back-to-back. The two meet at 10 p.m. ET in the play-in elimination.
Both teams have above-average defenses. The Clippers have some natural depth having played a good chunk of the season without Paul George due to injury. Plus veterans in Marcus Morris Sr., Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard carrying the load.
The Clippers are favored at -4 with an over/under of 216.5. We’ll take the talent advantage and go Clippers -4.
All odds are courtesy of Action247 Sportsbook. Good luck!!
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.