Each week TheLines looks ahead to what will likely be the most wagered-on events in sports. The week of Monday, Sept. 28 through Sunday, Oct. 4 is jam-packed with postseason NBA, NHL and MLB.
Chiefs vs. Ravens (Monday, Sept. 28)
It’s an expected preview of the AFC Championship game in Week 3 between the faces of the league in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. The Ravens are favorites at home after rolling their first two opponents. Baltimore leads the NFL in points allowed per game (11) and sits third in points scored per game (35.5). The Chiefs had a close call last week against the Chargers in Justin Herbert’s first career start. Against another tough defense, Kansas City is going to have to scheme better than they did in Week 2, where they only scored 20 points. This game will be excellent for prop betting, with plenty of explosive players on both sides of the ball. KC’s run game will be vital to their chances of winning on Monday Night Football.
Chiefs or Ravens 15/1 Odds Boost
New FanDuel Sportsbook users will get the enhanced odds of 15/1 on their choice of the Chiefs or Ravens for this Monday’s primetime matchup. The offer is available to new users in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Colorado and Illinois. The max bet for this offer is $10. To get started at FanDuel Sportsbook, go here.
Stars vs. Lightning: Game 6 (Monday, Sept. 28)
Backed up 3-1 in the series, the Stars pulled off a gutty Game 5 win in double-overtime. It’s now Game 6 and another do-or-die situation for the Stars, who are again underdogs. The Lightning’s potent offense has carried them to this point, with four players in the top five in either points or goals scored (Point, Kucherov, Palat, Hedman). Kucherov, Palat, and Hedman are also the top three in plus-minus and Point sits tied for fifth (12). There’s one constant across all sports – never count out a desperate team with their backs against the wall. But Monday night, we could see the next Stanley Cup champion crowned.
MLB Wild Card round (Begins Tuesday, Sept. 29)
After the shortest MLB regular season in over 100 years, we’ve finally arrived at the MLB Playoffs. Many teams benefitted from the abbreviated regular season; including the White Sox, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2008 (10th all time); the Padres, who are making their first appearance since 2006 (eighth all time); and the Marlins, who are making their first appearance since 2003. Notable first round series’ between hot teams include the Indians vs. the Yankees, and the Braves vs. the Reds. It’s the first look at the MLB postseason under a 16-team format, and fans are more than ready.
Heat vs. Lakers: Game 1 (Wednesday, Sept. 30)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: LeBron James has clinched a spot in the NBA Finals. The past 10 Finals have included either the Miami Heat or the Golden State Warriors, and nine of the past 10 have included LeBron. The Miami Heat have been the hottest team since the bubble began as they are led by excellent team efforts and have had several breakouts from key players (Butler, Adebayo, Herro). The Lakers are favored in Game 1 and Los Angeles sits as heavy favorites to win the championship. However, it’s foolish to count out a team as deep and hot as the Heat. It all begins Wednesday night.
Auburn vs. Georgia (Saturday, Oct. 3)
Auburn handled their opening game well against No. 23 Kentucky, which many projected to be a potential trap game. Georgia also made quick work of their opening weekend opponent thanks to a 22-point third quarter against Arkansas. It’s the season’s first matchup between top-10 opponents with Auburn being ranked seventh and Georgia being ranked fourth. The Bulldogs come out as early favorites at home but could again be without J.T. Daniels, who has yet to clear the NCAA medical process. The over/under in this one sits at a low 43.5 thanks to both teams’ stout defenses and ground-and-pound style of offense.