Weekend Betting Preview: Heavyweights, Horses, Hoops & More

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The sports world — and in turn, the sports betting world — is offering a little something for everyone this weekend.

To some bettors, the PGA Championship at Bethpage is this weekend’s main event, but with the tournament having teed off yesterday, with scores and odds changing by the minute, and with Brooks Koepka already threatening to lap the field, it doesn’t fit so neatly into a weekend wagering preview.

(That said, PointsBet has an attractive PGA promotion going: Make a $50 or greater “Hole-By-Hole Player Performance” bet on any of the first three days of the tournament, get a $50 bonus bet on an individual hole on Sunday.)

Here’s a quick whip around the rest of the sports gambling landscape on this busy weekend:

Deontay Wilder vs. Dominick Breazeale

On Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, one-third of the three-headed monster atop boxing’s heavyweight division, Alabama’s Deontay Wilder, defends his piece of the pie in a grudge match against once-beaten Dominick Breazeale.

There’s a clear favorite here. The best odds we’re seeing on a straight win bet are -835 on Wilder (DraftKings Sportsbook) and +570 on Breazeale (PointsBet). For something chalky but not quite as numerically prohibitive as picking Wilder to win, the wicked-punching “Bronze Bomber” ranges from -200 to -265 to win by knockout (which also covers TKO or DQ).

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But if longshot props are your thing, you might want to pick a specific round for Wilder to end matters, with most individual rounds priced around +900 or +1000. And if you want to root for a war in which both boxers’ power is on display, FanDuel Sportsbook has the “yes” on “Will both fighters be knocked down?” at +500.

BetStars has a notable low-stakes refund promotion on the fight: If you bet on one fighter or the other to win in a specific round, and you get it wrong but Wilder proceeds to score a knockout in the first three rounds, your stake is refunded as a “free bet” up to $20.

NBA Conference Finals

The Milwaukee Bucks are 6½-point favorites tonight at home in Game 2 against the Toronto Raptors, and when the Western Conference finals shift to Portland on Saturday night, the Trail Blazers are 2½-point faves over the Warriors on the heels of Thursday’s heartbreaker at Golden State.

You have to lay a lot to win a little, but the Warriors are now -1600 to win the Western Conference, which seems pretty darned safe with them up 2-0, regardless of whether Kevin Durant returns this series. Milwaukee, meanwhile, is -460 to win three more games before the Raptors can win four.

DraftKings has a noteworthy promotion going on the Eastern Conference finals in particular, offering a $10 free bet if you bet at least $50 total on the series, a $20 free bet if you bet at least $100, $50 in free bets if you bet $200, and $100 in free bets if you bet at least $400. Futures and full-series bets are excluded, and individual bets can’t be safer than -250.

Meanwhile, FanDuel’s NBA Playoffs Insurance remains in effect, granting bettors a refund of up to $50 if their moneyline bet or total score “under” bet loses in overtime.

Sharks-Blues Game 4

The Boston Bruins completed their sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes last night, but the other NHL conference final is up for grabs, with the San Jose Sharks up 2-1 on the St. Louis Blues thanks to Wednesday’s controversial overtime goal set up by an uncalled hand pass.

That result led the PointsBet “Karma Kommittee” to take action:

For Game 4 in St. Louis, the Blues are favored to get revenge (as low as -137 on the moneyline, or +190 to win by at least 1.5 goals). You can get up to +120 on the Sharks.

And FanDuel’s NHL Playoffs Insurance promo is still going, refunding up to $50 on losing bets if the team you back scores three or more goals in defeat. What are the chances of that happening? So far, in 77 games this postseason, the losing team has tallied three or more goals 18 times (23.3%).

On and around the infield

The two most intriguing MLB series this weekend take place in the American League, with the AL East in particular grabbing the spotlight.

Separated by a half-game atop the division, the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees do battle at Yankee Stadium (New York took two of three in Tampa last weekend). And the surging Red Sox, awakened from their early-season slumber, host the best team in the bigs, the Houston Astros, whose eight-game winning streak will be put to the test at Fenway.

PointsBet has a fun promotion just for this weekend’s baseball games, where if a customer places a PointsBetting bet (where each point affects the winning/losing amount) of at least $5 on an individual player hitting performance or a cross-team runs market, the bettor receives a $50 MLB in-play bet.

If you’re in the Baltimore area this weekend, there’s another sport that probably has your eye much more than baseball. But if you’re looking to bet the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, well, you need to do that at a track, not a sportsbook.

That said, Sports Handle’s Matt Rybaltowski has you covered if need a primer on the Preakness field.

There’s a certain irony in a horse named “Improbable” having the shortest odds. If he wins, keep an eye out for thoroughbreds in the future named “Longshot,” “Not A Prayer,” and “Waste Of Money.”

Photo by Marvin Gentry / USA Today Sports

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Eric Raskin

Eric is a veteran writer, editor, and podcaster in the sports and gaming industries. He was the editor-in-chief of the poker magazine All In for nearly a decade, is the author of the book The Moneymaker Effect, and has contributed to such outlets as ESPN.com, Grantland.com, and Playboy.

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