The Return of the People’s Parlay: Saturday’s NBA, NHL and MLB Three-Teamer
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dereck Rodríguez, Steph Curry, Logan Couture
- Sean Zerillo, Bryan Mears and Michael Leboff offer their favorite MLB, NBA and NHL bets to come up with a three-team parlay that pays over 6-1.
What better time to bring back the people’s parlay than on the first Saturday in May? It’s a national betting holiday with the Kentucky Derby and the NBA and NHL playoffs, plus a full baseball card (among some other sports).
For those not familiar with the people’s parlay, we unveiled this during basketball season. It’s a pretty simple premise in which three or four of our staff give their favorite picks for a certain day to fill out a parlay. This will be a cross-sport parlay that features an MLB, NBA and NHL bet and pays out over 6-1 odds.
YTD: 1-5 +2.75 units
Sean Zerillo: Giants +120 at Reds
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
On Friday night, the Reds jumped out to leads of 8-0 and 10-3 against rookie Tyler Beede and the Giants. But then their bullpen surrendered eight runs over four innings, ultimately sending the game to extras after Stephen Vogt’s ninth-inning home run off of Raisel Iglesias.
On Saturday, the Giants will face Tanner Roark, whose walk rate (4.71 BB/9) and swinging strike rate (6.3%) are career worsts — he’s on clear downward trend after a poor 2018 with the Nationals.
Meanwhile, Giants’ starter Dereck Rodriguez is coming off of his worst start of the season against the Yankees, allowing 7 hits and 6 total runs over 3 innings of work. But he’s still been better than a league-average pitcher during his time in the majors, with a .302 xwOBA per Statcast (average is .318).
Roark owns a career .323 xwOBA and finished 2018 at exactly .318, but he’s at .384 in 2019, allowing 10 barrels on 87 batted balls after giving up just 33 on 554 batted balls last season.
With the better pitcher on paper and the mental edge over every reliever in the Reds’ bullpen, I’m happy to take the Giants at a generous +120.
Bryan Mears: Warriors-Rockets Under 221.5
- Spread: Rockets -3.5 vs. Warriors
- Over/Under: 221.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
In 37 meetings between these teams in the Steve Kerr era, the under has gone 25-12, including 15-4 in the playoffs. That includes an under in Game 1 and an over in Game 2 that needed 12 freaking points in the final 22 seconds to hit. (Yes, I bet that under. No, I’m not over it.)
The public is almost always on the overs because of the reputation of the offenses, but numbers in the 220s will continue to be valuable because of the pace of play in these games. They’re almost exclusively halfcourt affairs, with guys taking most of the possession to go 1-on-1 in isolation.
I’ll keep betting Warriors-Rockets unders until I die.
Michael Leboff: San Jose Sharks -125 vs. Avalanche
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: NBCSN
This is a pretty sizable adjustment from the last time these two teams played at the Shark Tank for Game 2. In that contest, the Sharks closed between -150 and -160, depending on the sportsbook.
Sure, the Avalanche have been the better 5-on-5 team in this series in terms of expected goals and high-danger scoring chances. They also have the better goaltender. But these odds indicate these two would be a coin flip on neutral ice and I don’t agree with that.
Even without Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi, the Sharks have three dependable lines and a defense that should get the matchups they want with the last change.
I hate betting on Martin Jones, but this is a good price on the Sharks at home.
- Giants +120
- Warriors-Rockets Under 221.5
- Sharks -125
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.