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This Weekend In Sports, May 12-14: Toward The NBA/NHL Conference Finals

August 22, 2023

This Weekend in Sports previews the biggest games and events for the coming weekend.

We’re down to the final days of the second round of the NBA and NHL playoffs, it’s crunch time in English soccer and Major League Baseball races are just getting started. Read on, check out what’s happening and get your Tipico app ready to rock.

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NBA Playoffs

Knicks at Heat (7:30 p.m. ET Friday; Heat lead series 3-2)

Tipico odds: Heat -6.5, O/U 207.5, -250 moneyline

New York staved off elimination Wednesday by holding Jimmy Butler to 19 points – the first time in these playoffs that “Buckets” has scored under 20. Meanwhile, the Knicks’ terrific trio of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett combined for 86 points.

NY needs to hope they didn’t burn Brunson out – he was the first Knick to play all 48 minutes of a game since 1972 – but it paid off to the tune of 38 points.

The Heat are returning home, where they haven’t lost since April 11, and you just know Butler isn’t going to score less than 20 again. He’s No. 3 in scoring among all NBA players this postseason with an average of 31.9 points per game.

Warriors at Lakers (10 PM ET Friday; Lakers lead series 3-2)

Tipico odds: Lakers -3.5, O/U 219.5, -155

Golden State finally looked like defending champions in winning a do-or-die game Wednesday, but they’ll need Klay Thompson to regain his shooting groove. Stephen Curry’s splash brother is 11-for-37 from the field over the past three games. If he shoots blanks again in Game 6 in LA, the Warriors probably won’t get to Game 7.

One issue to watch for the Lakers will be the condition of their main men LeBron James and Anthony Davis. LBJ played more minutes Wednesday (39) than he probably should at his age (38), and AD took an unintentional shot to the head from Kevon Looney in Game 5. Those guys need to be on their game for LA to close out the Dubs and avoid a Game 7 in San Francisco.

76ers at Celtics (Time TBA Friday; series tied 3-3)

Tipico odds: Celtics –6.5, O/U 202.5, -115

Jayson Tatum has a habit of disappearing in big playoff games, and he was doing exactly that Thursday before scoring 16 in the fourth quarter to send the series back to Boston for the deciding Game 7. In letting the clincher get away, the 76ers may have blown their chance at moving on.

Philly has won two games in Boston during this series, but to pull off the upset, James Harden must be hitting. In the 76ers’ three losses, Harden is a miserable 9-for-44 from the field. Joel Embiid must play like the newly-minted MVP that he is, Harden must be on, and Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris have to score in double digits to overcome a deep and talented Celtics team.

NHL Playoffs

Panthers at Maple Leafs (7 p.m. Friday; Panthers lead series 3-1)

Tipico odds: Maple Leafs -1.5 puck line, O/U 6.5, -170 moneyline

Toronto will push to become only the fifth team in NHL history to rally from a 0-3 deficit and win a playoff series – 197 teams have failed to do so.

To do so, the Leafs will need more firepower from William Nylander and Mitch Marner, who each scored Wednesday to stave off elimination.

Oilers at Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; series tied 2-2)

Tipico odds: Oilers -1.5, O/U 6.5, -135

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This has been a seesaw series so far, with neither team having won two straight games yet. Edmonton finally played strong at 5-on-5 strength and didn’t have to rely on power plays to win Game 4. If that continues, they could steal a win on road ice Friday.

Stars at Kraken (7 p.m. ET Saturday; Stars lead series 3-2)

Tipico odds: Stars –1.5, O/U 5.5, -145

Seattle had better find a way to slow down Dallas’ dynamic duo of Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz. Pavelski has scored seven goals in this series and now has 71 postseason goals, the most by any American-born player. Hintz has 8 goals and 10 assists in the playoffs.

MLB

Rays at Yankees (Fri-Sun)

Tipico odds (Friday): Yankees –1.5 run line, O/U 8.5, -180 moneyline

AL East-leading Tampa Bay has won three of four against New York this season, including a victory Thursday night in the series opener. The Bronx Bombers are still mired in last place, in large part because they have 13 players on the injured list.

Padres at Dodgers (Fri-Sun)

Tipico odds (Friday): Dodgers –1.5, O/U 9, -135

LA will be looking to repeat last weekend’s series victory over San Diego, when they held their Southern California neighbors to three runs total on Saturday and Sunday. As of Friday, the Dodgers’ Max Muncy was tied for second in the National League with 12 home runs.

Premier League

Manchester City (26-4-4) at Everton (7-11-17), 9 a.m. ET Sunday

Tipico odds: Everton +750, Draw +460, Manchester City -290

City is clinging to a 1-point lead over Arsenal in the Premier League standings, winning 10 straight matches — but they also have a game in hand. Everton, meanwhile, is trying to avoid being relegated to the Championship, which happens to the bottom three clubs in the Premier League’s final standings. Oddly, Everton snapped a 10-match losing streak to City with a draw on New Year’s Eve. Can they do it again?

Brighton (16-7-10) at Arsenal (25-6-4), 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday

Tipico odds: Arsenal –130, Draw +320, Brighton +320

As mentioned above, Arsenal trails Manchester City by one point with only a few weeks left in the season. The Seagulls have done well at Emirates Stadium of late, having beat the Gunners three of the past four times there. Alexis Mac Allister leads Brighton with 10 Premier League goals this season. Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has scored five goals in his past five league matches.

English League Championship

Semifinals, First Leg

Luton (21-17-8) at Sunderland (18-15-13)

Tipico odds: Sunderland +160, Draw +210, Luton Town +175

Luton has eight wins and six draws in its past 14 matches, while Sunderland has four wins and five draws in its past nine matches. The Black Cats have not been great at home recently, however, with four draws in their past five matches in the Stadium of Light.

Middlesbrough (22-9-15) at Coventry (18-16-12)

Tipico odds: Coventry +145, , Draw +220, Middlesbrough +175

Middlesbrough has only scored one goal in two matches against Coventry this season – a 1-0 defeat on Oct. 1 and a 1-1 stalemate on May 8. Beyond that, Boro has won only once in its past seven matches at Coventry – a 2-1 victory in March 2021.

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Alex Valdes
Alex Valdes is Web Content Manager at Tipico North America. He has written, edited and performed user and site analysis at MoneyTalksNews, NBC Sports, MSN, Bing, MSNBC, as well as newspapers and magazines.
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