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Best Bets Today: Top Picks from Friday's Sports Slate

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Best Bets Today: Top Picks from Friday's Sports Slate
Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames celebrate a second-period goal against the Dallas Stars. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images via AFP.

Our sports betting experts offer up their top picks and best bets for today’s action.

Friday’s sports betting includes the NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB games, and a look ahead to this weekend’s UFC, soccer, tennis, and USFL action.

Here are today’s best sports bets for Friday, May 20.

Today’s Best Bets

  • NBA: Mavericks +6 (-108 via FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • NHL: Flames -1.5 (+145 via DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • MLB: Tim Anderson Over 1.5 total bases (+125 via FanDuel)
  • UFC: Santiago Ponzinibbio (+115 via Draftkings)
  • Soccer: Tottenham Hotspur to win + Son Heung-min to score two or more goals (+436 via FanDuel)
  • ATP French Open: Novak Djokovic to win (+200 via PointsBet)
  • WTA French Open: Ons Jabeur to win (+1200 via PointsBet)
  • USFL: New Jersey Generals -7 (-105 via DraftKings)

Friday’s NBA Best Bet

Mavericks +6 (-108)

I’m siding with the public on this one and taking the Mavs to cover.

Despite the lopsided final score, these teams were nearly even in turnovers and made 3-pointers in Game 1, but Golden State demolished Dallas in efficiency. The Mavs made 11-of-48 3-pointers (22.9%) while Golden State made 10-of-29. The Warriors held a huge advantage in overall field goal percentage (FG%), winning 56.1% to 36%. Dallas covered in three of five matchups with Golden State and went 26-9 after a loss and 28-21 on the road this season.

The Mavericks piled up the points in Game 7 of their semi-final series, and the extreme shooting struggles in Game 1 against the Dubs weren’t all due to the Warriors’ defense. Positive regression is coming, and if Luka Doncic responds with a monster game that he’s capable of, the Mavs should keep this one within six points.

Mavericks-Warriors picks made by Zachary Hanshew.

To see all of our NBA picks, click here.

Over 213.5 (-110)

Friday’s NHL Best Bet

Flames -1.5 (+145)

The final regular-season meeting between these teams on March 26 finished with the Flames winning 9-5 and the hosts put up nine goals again in Game 1. The teams split the four-game regular-season series with home-ice reigning supreme. Calgary outshot Edmonton 38-31 in that 9-5 win in March and had an even bigger disparity in Game 1 (48-28).

The Flames are the much better team and they’ve shown that throughout the season and playoffs. They have a 60.91% expected goals share at 5-on-5 through eight playoff games, following up their 54.95% (fifth-best) mark in the regular season.

The Oilers are barely over .500 (23-17-5) on the road this season (regular + playoffs), which includes 0-3-0 in Calgary. The Flames should win and I like the puck line at +145 given Edmonton’s porous defense.

Oilers-Flames picks made by Ryan Gilbert.

To see all of our NHL picks, click here.

Friday’s MLB Best Bet

Anderson Over 1.5 total bases (+125)

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has been a total bases machine this season. He’s hitting .346 and slugging .493, including 12-for-24 with two doubles and two home runs against left-handed pitching.

Anderson has picked up at least two total bases in 19 of 32 games this season (59%) and is on a hot streak of two or more total bases in eight of his last 11 games, and 12 of 17.

MLB Best Bets Today picks made by Ryan Gilbert.

To see all of our MLB picks, click here.

Friday’s UFC Fight Night Best Bet

Ponzinibbio (+115)

Beneath the flash and sizzle of the highlight reel “spinning stuff,” Michel Pereira isn’t on Santiago Ponzinibbio’s level both technically and pure skill-wise. Sure, Pereira has shown growth and increased maturity during his recent four-fight win streak, but he’ll abandon that newfound maturity once Ponzinibbio starts piecing him up on the feet.

“The Argentine Dagger” will cut off the cage and pressure Pereira, not allowing him to uncork anything spectacularly devastating, and as such, will either win via a late stoppage or a hard-fought unanimous decision.

UFC Best Bets Today picks made by Kyle Smith.

To see all of our UFC picks, click here.

Friday’s Soccer Best Bet

Spurs + Son Over 1.5 goals (+436)

The first part of this bet is fairly straightforward. Spurs can secure fourth place in the Premier League and a spot in next year’s Champions League with a draw at Norwich. However, though they need only a single point, they’ll take all three. Tottenham won’t give fifth-place Arsenal any hope of catching them and will put away Norwich early, just as they did in the reverse fixture that finished 3-0 for Spurs.

Meanwhile, Son is just one goal behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for the Premier League’s Golden Boot award. With Salah potentially sitting out his club’s final league game with the injury he picked up in the FA Cup final (Liverpool still have to play in the Champions League final on May 28), Son can finish the campaign as the league’s top goal-scorer with a brace at Norwich. Look for Spurs teammate Harry Kane to once again serve as the facilitator and even likely allow Son to take penalties should Tottenham draw any.

Premier League Matchday 38 picks made by Andrew Brennan.

To see all of our soccer picks, click here.

Friday’s ATP Tour Best Bet

Djokovic (+200)

Yes, I know. I’m missing Alcaraz’s name. He very well may take home his maiden Grand Slam, but these are betting picks — not predictions. We’re looking for value here, and all value has been exhausted from Alcaraz at this point. If you got him at +1200 or higher a month or so ago, great. If not, you need to look elsewhere than the sixth-ranked men’s player in the world.

Djokovic should win his quarter here with ease. While I’m cognizant of Nadal’s presence in the very same quarter, the Spaniard simply isn’t as poised to win this tournament as he has been in years past. Nadal is dealing with a foot injury that helped knock him out of Rome and prior to that had dealt with a ribs injury following Indian Wells.

So, I like Djokovic in that match — if Nadal even reaches that stage. He defeated Rafa in the semifinals here last year and he’ll do it again. After that he gets Alcaraz in the semis, who he probably would have beaten in Madrid if not for his lack of match fitness. Now in top form, he really is the deserving favorite for the French Open.

ATP French Open picks made by Kenny Ducey.

Friday’s WTA Tour Best Bet

Jabeur (+1200)

If it’s not going to be Iga Swiatek hosting the trophy, it’ll probably be Jabeur. The Tunisian superstar should have no issues in her draw until she meets Sakkari in the quarterfinal, and after that should be able to power through to the quarter four winner considering how wide-open it is with Barbora Krejcikova’s lack of form and fitness.

She can hit a winner from anywhere on the court and possesses a lethal drop shot. In a lot of ways, she’s like Carlos Alcaraz out there — and she has similar fanfare associated with her name as well.

Above all else, she just had an 11-match winning streak snapped by Swiatek in Rome after winning The Madrid Open. Had she not been exhausted, she may have been able to win that one.

WTA French Open picks made by Kenny Ducey.

Friday’s USFL Best Bet

Generals -7 (-105)

Whether it was because of matchup or for performance, DeAndre Johnson started and then ended the game at quarterback for New Jersey last week. His team beat New Orleans 27-17, and it marked their fourth win in a row this season and their first by double digits. In fact, all but one of the Generals’ wins have beaten this 7-point spread.

In contrast, the Gamblers have lost their last three games on their opponent’s final drive of the game. Two of them were lost by a single point while the other was exactly this spread and Houston has not lost a game by more than seven points all season long. However, they are facing a team with a surging offense at the peak of its potency in Week 6. The Gamblers are not the best defensive team either, giving up 104 total points since Week 2.

Expect New Jersey to put the pressure on enough to win by enough to cover this spread.

USFL Best Bets Week 6 picks made by Rodrigo Villagomez.

Where to Bet on Today’s Best Picks

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

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