The NBA Finals open Tuesday when the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat meet in Game 1 of the championship series at American Airlines Arena (9 pm ET, ABC).

NBA Odds have the Heat as a 4.5-point favorite and the over/under total at 5.5.

Head-to-head, Dallas has dominated the Heat, going 10-0 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in the past 10 meetings. All four of the past 10 have gone over the total.

The Mavericks swept the season series, winning 98-96 on Dec. 20 and covering the spread as a 6.5-point road underdog. The score went over the total of 193.5. The Mavs won 106-95 in their first meeting Nov. 27, cashing as a 2-point home favorite.

The Mavericks took out the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the Western Conference Final. The Heat beat the No. 1 seed Chicago Bulls in the East Final, also in five games, winning four straight after losing the opener.

Dallas is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games overall, 16-2-1 ATS in its last 19 games overall, and 5-0 SU in its last five games on the road. Miami is 6-1 SU in its last seven games overall, and 5-0 SU in its last five games at home.

Dallas (57-25 SU, 43-37-2 ATS) is the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, and Miami (58-24 SU, 39-42-1 ATS) is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The first two games of the best-of-seven series are in Miami, with the next three in Dallas.

MLB Picks sets up the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers clashing in a battle of NL West division rivals Monday at Dodger Stadium (8:10 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds have the Dodgers as a -155 home favorite and the over/under total at 7.

Colorado (25-27, 12-12 away) just ended a seven-game home-stand in which it went 2-5. The Rockies haven’t fared much better away from Coors Field, losing eight of their last nine road games. They averaged 2.7 runs in those games.

Los Angeles (24-30, 13-15 home) is hoping to win consecutive games for the first time since May 13. The Dodgers are just 3-6 straight up in the past nine games at home.

The Dodgers are coming off of an 8-0 win against Florida on Sunday in which they recorded a season-high 17 hits. The win gave them their first series win since May 10-13 when they took two out of three against Pittsburgh.

Jason Hammel (3-4, 3.20 ERA) will go for his first win in exactly a month for the Rockies. The right-hander is 0-3 in five starts since beating Pittsburgh on Apr. 30, but a lot of that has to do with poor run support. The Rockies have scored three or fewer runs in four of those outings.

Chad Billingsley (3-4, 3.69 ERA) will get the start for L.A. The right-hander has posted a 5.94 ERA while losing three straight against Colorado. He is 1-1 with a 3.64 ERA in five career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Sports Picks previews the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals opening a three-game series on Memorial Day at Nationals Park (1:05 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds have the Phillies as a -200 moneyline, 1.5-runline (-125) favorite and the over/under total is at 6.5 runs.

The National League East rivals are at opposite ends of the division, and have been most of the season. Philadelphia (33-19 SU) is in first place in the division, while Washington (22-29 SU) is in the basement, 10.5 games back of the Phillies.

The Phillies, who have the best record in baseball, have won four straight and are 7-3 SU in their past 10 games. The Nationals are 2-8 SU in their past 10.

Philadelphia will give the ball to ace righthander Roy Halladay, who is 6-3 with a 2.35 ERA this season. Halladay went seven innings Wednesday in a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He last faced Washington May 5, when he went seven innings and gave up six hits and had 10 strike-outs in a 7-3 win.

Washington will go with righthander Livan Hernandez, who is 3-6 with a 3.71 ERA. Hernandez last pitched Tuesday in a 7-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, when he went six innings. He last faced the Phillies on May 3, giving up 10 hits in a 4-1 loss.

Head-to-head, Philadelphia is 8-2 SU in the past 10 meetings, and swept a three-game set the last time the teams squared off May 3 to 5.

The Phillies faced the New York Mets this past weekend, winning the first two, while Washington split the first two games of a series against the San Diego Padres.

The Florida Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers finish off a three-game set Sunday at Dodger Stadium (4:10 pm ET, FOX).

The Marlins will send Ricky Nolasco to the mound and the Dodgers will send out Clayton Kershaw.

Both of these pitchers have been very good this season. They have comparable ERA’s, but Nolasco has a much better record at 4-0 this season compared to Kershaw at 5-3.

Nolasco has been a very durable pitcher for the Marlins this year, averaging 6.8 innings per outing. His BAA is not outstanding this year, but he does have good control, limiting the total number of base runners by not walking many batters.

Kershaw is kind of the opposite from this standpoint. Kershaw generally has a very low BAA, but he walks batters a little too frequently.  The saving factor for Kershaw over the course of his career has been his ability to strikeout batters. He is able to get out of jams with his terrific curveball and slider. If Kershaw is able to put it all together and limit the amount of walks that he allows, he will become an excellent pitcher in this league.

The Dodgers are currently 7 games below .500 at 22-29 on the season. They are in 4th place in the NL West and 6 games behind the Giants in the standings. The Marlins are 29-19 this year and they are 1 game behind Philadelphia in the standings.

Sports Picks sets up the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning squaring off in Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals on Friday night (8 pm ET, VERSUS). The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals and face the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 on Wednesday, June 1.

NHL Odds have the Bruins as a -155 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 5.5.

Boston squandered an opportunity Wednesday to advance to its first Stanley Cup Finals since 1990. The Bruins were unable to take advantage of David Krejci’s hat trick and lost Game 6 in Tampa by a score of 5-4. They are now forced to attempt to eliminate Tampa Bay on their home ice where they are 6-3 during the playoffs.

“We’ve got a Game 7, it’s at home, and we’re one game away from the Stanley Cup finals. Why shouldn’t we be excited?” coach Claude Julien said Thursday. “Our guys are not discouraged or disappointed. The past is the past. We’ve got an opportunity to win a hockey game and get into the Stanley Cup finals.”

With Wednesday’s win, Tampa Bay is now 4-0 this postseason in elimination games. The Lightning fell behind the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in the first round before winning three straight to move on.

Dwayne Roloson will start in Game 7, Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. The goaltender is 7-0 in elimination games, but he has had some difficulties against the Bruins in what has otherwise been a great postseason for him. Mike Smith started in his place in Game 5 and has twice relieved him during gameplay.

Boucher also said that Sean Bergenheim will likely be out of the lineup for Game 7.

Baseball Picks previews the Boston Red Sox visiting the Detroit Tigers for the second tilt of a four-game series on Friday at Comerica Park (7:05 pm ET, FOX).

MLB Odds have the game as a -110 pick’em and the over/under total at 9.

Boston will have righthander Tim Wakefield on the mound. Wakefield is 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA, and last pitched Sunday against the Chicago Cubs, when he went seven innings in a 5-1 win.

Detroit will counter with righthander Rick Porcello, who is 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA. He last pitched on Sunday as well, going eight innings in a 2-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.   

Boston has really righted the ship since its horrible start to the season, when the team opened with six straight setbacks.

The Red Sox (27-22 SU) were mired in the AL East division basement for the first month of the season before their bats came alive and their starting rotation started living up to its potential. Since then, the Red Sox have been one of the hottest teams in the majors, going 10-2 SU in their past 12, and have climbed back into a tie for first place in the division.

Detroit (25-23 SU) is in second place in the AL Central, 5.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians, and had won three straight going into the opener Friday.

But that streak came to crashing halt, with the Red Sox hammering the Tigers 14-1 in the opener Thursday.

That puts Boston at 6-4 SU in the past 10 head-to-head meetings. Just last week, the Red Sox swept a two-game set against the Tigers.

Sports Picks previews Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday, when the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls battle at the United Center (8:30 pm ET, TNT).

NBA Betting has the Bulls as a 3-point, -150 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 180.

With a win Thursday, Miami can make its first trip to the NBA Finals since it won the championship in 2006.

The Heat lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 after beating the Bulls 101-93 in overtime in Game 4 on Tuesday. Miami covered the spread as a 5-point home favorite and the score went over the total of 179.5. LeBron James had a game-high 35 points to lead the Heat.

Miami is a solid 5-1 straight up in its past six games overall, and has some out on top of eight of its last 11 away from home. Chicago has won 18 of its past 24 overall, and 22 of its past 25 at home.

Over/under trends reveal a mixed bag, as the total has gone under in seven of the past nine meetings at the United Center, but has gone over in five of the Heat’s last six games.

The Heat and Bulls are both 5-5 SU and ATS in the past 10 meetings. But Chicago has a big edge when facing the Heat at home, going 10-3 SU in the last 13 meetings at home, and 14-5 ATS in the last 19 meetings.

The Heat (58-24 SU, 39-42-1 ATS) finished right behind the Bulls as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern conference. Chicago (62-20 SU, 50-31-1 ATS) is the No. 1 seed.

NBA Picks previews the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks squaring off in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday at the American Airlines Arena Center (9 pm ET, ESPN).

NBA Odds have the Mavericks as a 6.5-point, -300 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 198.5.

The Mavericks completed an amazing comeback to win Game 4 on Monday and take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Dallas can advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2006 with a win Wednesday.

Trailing by 15 points with just five minutes left in regulation time Monday, the Mavericks mounted a furious comeback and won 112-105. Dallas covered the spread as a 4-point road underdog and the score went over the total of 196.

Both Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd were outstanding for the Mavericks and the veterans showed that at this time of the season, experience often beats youthful energy.

Nowitzki scored a game-high 40 points and added five rebounds and three assists, while Kidd had 17 points, five boards and seven assists, and drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in overtime.

Kevin Durant had a big game for the Thunder, scoring 29 points, pulling down a game-high 15 rebounds, dishing out four assists and adding one block.

Head-to-head. The Mavericks are 6-4 straight up and 5-5 against the point spread in the past 10 head-to-head meetings. Seven of the past 10 have gone over the total.

The last time the Mavericks were in the NBA Finals, they lost to the Miami Heat in four games.

Sports Picks previews two of the top teams in the American League opening a three-game series Monday when the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians meet at Progressive Field (7:05 pm ET, ESPN2).

MLB Odds have the Red Sox as a -125 moneyline favorite and the over/under total at 8.5.

The Red Sox (24-21 SU) were a preseason favorite to win the AL pennant but opened with six straight losses. Boston looks to have righted the ship, however, and is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games. The Red Sox are also just one game back of the AL East division leaders, the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees.

On the other hand, not much was expected from the Indians (29-15 SU) but they have turned out to be the surprise team so far this season. Cleveland boasts the best record in Major League Baseball and has a 7-game lead atop the AL Central.

Head-to-head, Cleveland is 7-3 SU in the past 10 meetings, and the Indians swept a three-game series with the Red Sox in early April.

Boston will start righthander Clay Buchholz, who is 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA and last pitched Wednesday, going seven innings in a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland will counter with righthander Justin Masterson, who is 5-2 with a 2.52 ERA. Masterson last pitched Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox, going eight innings in a 1-0 loss.

Boston lost 9-3 to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, while Cleveland is coming off a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds on the weekend.

Sports Picks sets up the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in Horse Racing’s Triple Crown, on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course (4:30 pm ET, NBC).

Horse Racing Odds have Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom as the favorite at 2-1 to win the Preakness Stakes. Dialed In, which was the Kentucky Derby favorite but finished 8th at Churchill Downs, is next at 4-1, followed by Mucho Macho Man at 6-1.

For just the second time in 19 years, the Preakness will have a full field of 14 three-year-olds.

Animal Kingdom, Dialed In and Mucho Macho Man are three of five horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby that will race in the $1 million race at Pimlico on Saturday.

Animal Kingdom, the son of Leroidesanimaux, was a major upset winner at Churchill Downs, winning as a 20-to-1 long shot. Animal Kingdom will start from the No. 11 post at Pimlico.

The horse will be trying to become the first to win the Triple Crown – the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes – since Affirmed in 1978. Since then, 11 Kentucky Derby winners have won the Preakness but failed in the Belmont.

Dialed In, the son of Mineshaft, will start from post No. 10, while Mucho Macho Man, which finished third at Churchill Downs, is right beside him at post No. 9.

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