This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ PM Newsletter, the ultimate daily sports gambling guide. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday afternoon here.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
The NBA Draft, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN
- Key Trend: Teams like dudes who can shoot.
- The Pick: Jordan Hawkins Draft Position Under 16.5 (-130)
The NBA Draft is tonight, and as a Chicago Bulls fan temporarily without a second team, I have no reason to watch. At least, not right now. The Bulls do not have a pick in tonight’s draft, so right now the only thing I can do to make the draft interesting to me is bet on it.
The problem is that there’s little science regarding betting on the NBA Draft. It’s impossible to decipher which rumors have truth and which are being floated as a smokescreen. So while I’m leading the newsletter with this pick tonight and have other bets out there, my honest advice is don’t bet too much on any of this. While nobody truly knows what will happen when betting on sports, there’s far more data available to give us an idea of what’s likely to happen in a game. Nobody knows anything in a draft where one person’s opinion of a player can turn everything on its head.
Anyway, as I go through the mocks and look around, Jordan Hawkins is the kind of player I can see moving up based on the expectations. He won a national title with UConn a couple of months ago, and he’s very good at the one thing teams always want: he can shoot the basketball.
Hawkins shot 37.6% from three in two seasons at UConn and was at 38.8% this season. In the tournament, he was at 50%. Hawkins is one of the best players in this draft at coming off screens and knocking down threes, a skill always in demand. While he’s not a true point guard, he can facilitate offense and get to the rim. He can also defend and help out on the glass. I won’t be shocked at all if he goes in the lottery.
Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine’s Alex Selesnick is sharing all his favorite prop bets for the draft tonight.
💰 MLB Picks
Pirates at Marlins, 6:40 p.m. | TV: ESPN+
The Pick: Pirates (+140) — We have a limited MLB slate this evening, as there are only three games. Thankfully there are bets I like in two of them — at least more than I like betting other NBA Draft props. We’re getting an inflated price on the Pirates here, as they’ve been in a bad funk. They’ve lost nine straight, and the offense has gone AWOL, but they have their best starter on the mound tonight in Mitch Keller, which gives them a better shot than this number suggests.
Keller has stumbled in recent starts, but that was expected after allowing only 17 earned runs in his first 10 starts. The rest of his metrics have remained roughly the same, and the Marlins offense he faces tonight is not a juggernaut. Miami makes plenty of contact but ranks 18th in MLB in wRC+ and 19th in wOBA. The Pirates’ offense is struggling, but it may not need to score many runs tonight to get the win.
Mariners at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB Network
The Pick: Yankees (+100) — Sure, I’ll take the Yankees as home underdogs against a Seattle team that’s two games below .500. Thanks! The Yankees were dogs Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop them from beating Seattle 4-2. I got them at +130 then, and while this line isn’t nearly as juicy, it’s still worth the squeeze.
Bryan Woo will make his fourth career start for the Mariners tonight, and he’s posted an ERA of 7.30 in the first three, though the numbers are inflated from a very bad debut against Texas. The truth is Woo does have good stuff, but while he’s not walking a lot of hitters, he’s leaving a lot of pitches over the middle of the plate, and he’s gotten punished for it. The Yankee offense hasn’t been incredible lately, but it’s a team that can still mash dingers when you make mistakes.