Money Monday – April, 10, 2023

April 10, 2023

April 10, 2023

Three suggestions for early-in-the-week action

© Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers

FLA Live Arena – Sunrise, FL

7:00 PM ET

SuperBook Line: Florida -140

In the final week of the regular season, betting on motivation is usually a safe way to go. And Florida has plenty of it, holding just a one-point lead over Pittsburgh for the final wild card spot and tied with the New York Islanders.

The Panthers’ 91 points are a far cry from the 122 that won them the Presidents’ Trophy a season ago, but Florida is getting hot at the right time. Florida has won six games in a row, tied for the longest streak right now in the NHL.

The Panthers have outscored opponents 28-9 during those six games, including a 7-0 win over Columbus and a 7-2 win over Ottawa. They’re not just emerging victorious of late; they’re doing it in complete and total dominant fashion.

While the Maple Leafs will have motivation a week from now, they’re locked into their playoff spot and will play Tampa Bay in the first-round no matter what happens in the remaining regular-season games. Toronto’s been going through the motions for quite some time, desperate to break their stretch of playoff futility while slogging through the end of a meaningless regular season.

The Leafs have alternated wins and losses over their last 10 games. If the pattern holds on Monday night, they’ll drop another one down in Florida after disposing of Montreal on Saturday.

The Panthers beat Toronto 3-2 back on March 29, and they’ll get another win on Monday. It’s about looking for motivation, and Florida has plenty while Toronto simply aways the postseason.

Norm LaChatlier’s pick: Florida M/L (-140)


© Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames

Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB

9:30 PM ET

SuperBook Line: Calgary -195

In what is essentially a Western Conference elimination game, the Predators and Flames are both desperate for the two points to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. Nashville sits at 88 points, Calgary is at 90, and they’re both chasing the Jets who have 91 for the final postseason spot.

Calgary especially needs to get this one, as the Flames have played 80 games, while Nashville and Winnipeg have skated in 79. But it’s setting up to be a disappointing offseason up North, as the Flames have choked in big moments over the last week.

They had an inexplicable 4-3 home loss to the terrible Blackhawks last Tuesday. Then, the Flames lost to the eliminated Canucks 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday, leaving a precious point on the ice.

Nashville has played Calgary well this year, beating them in their first two matchups. It was a 4-1 win on the road back in November and a 2-1 home win in January. A sweep of the Flames would go a long way toward getting them into the postseason. Clearly, they’ve proved they’re the better team in head-to-head matchups thus far.

The Predators are coming off a frustrating 2-0 loss to the Jets, but they’ve earned some big victories the last couple of weeks. They took down Stanley Cup favorite Boston on the road 2-1 on March 28, bested West-leading Vegas 3-2 on April 4 and defeated Cup contender Carolina 3-0 on April 6.

Right now, Nashville is showing up in big games. They don’t get much bigger than this. Look for the Predators to pull the upset and essentially end the Flames’ season.

Norm LaChatlier’s pick: Nashville M/L (+165)


© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, FL

6:40 PM ET

SuperBook Line: Tampa Bay -165

Tampa Bay is the story of the baseball season so far, as the Rays are 9-0 and have outscored opponents 75-18 during that stretch. That’s just an insane +57 run differential, as the Rays are beating the snot out of everyone in their way.

They just defeated Oakland 11-0 in back-to-back games and have also won by scores of 12-2, 7-2 and 9-5 in the early going. Why would you bet against a team that not only can’t lose right now, but is also winning games by such comfortable margins?

Even though starter Josh Fleming struggled in his first outing, it wasn’t an issue, as the Tampa Bay bats came alive early and often to cruise to a 10-6 victory over the Nationals. And Boston starter Nick Pivetta was fine in his debut, but he needed 87 pitches to slog through five innings against the Pirates and eventually took the loss in a 4-1 defeat.

The Red Sox aren’t the dominant team we got used to in the 2000s and 2010s. Instead, they’re projected for a rare rebuild and not viewed as a threat in the super competitive AL East. The Rays, Yankees and Blue Jays are all World Series contenders, while Boston will be lucky to crack .500.

They’ve had an extremely easy start to the season with the Orioles, Pirates and Tigers on the schedule. A disappointing homestand, however, saw them come out of the gates at 2-4, while a sweep of Detroit did get them to 5-4 and back to a temporary winning record.

That’ll end this week in Tampa Bay, as the Rays stay hot and extend their winning streak to 10 with a victory on Monday.

Richard DeMala’s pick: Tampa Bay M/L (-165)


Perfect Parlay

Today’s best packaged deal

Baltimore Orioles M/L (-176)

Atlanta Braves M/L (-190)

Texas Rangers M/L (-165)

Los Angeles Angels M/L (-230)

Richard DeMala’s Four-Leg Parlay = +452

Bundle together the four biggest home favorites of the night to create some tremendous value. Baltimore hosts a bad Oakland team. Atlanta welcomes in Cincinnati. Texas faces Kansas City. And Los Angeles sees Washington on the docket. That’s an enticing four-game parlay.


Three Things We Learned…

Takeaways from a weekend full of great games and performances

Bryce Young is going No. 1 overall

Which quarterback were the Panthers going to take with the top pick? That’s been the question swirling since Carolina traded with Chicago for that prime spot. Last week, rumors started swirling that they were leaning toward Bryce Young. Today, the Alabama quarterback will pay a pre-draft visit to the team. It’s looking more and more like Young is going to be the Panthers guy at No. 1.

Brooks Koepka isn’t all the way back

After some struggles that were painfully chronicled in Netflix’s “Full Swing” series, it appeared as though Brooks Koepka was back. He went into Sunday at Augusta with a commanding lead, looking to close out the third round in style and then play well enough in the final 18 to don the green jacket. It didn’t happen, as Koepka melted down, shot a 75 in the final round and watched Jon Rahm cruise to victory.

The West is going to be wild

While the teams atop the standings in the Western Conference have had issues down the stretch, two teams in the bottom half of the playoff grouping have opened plenty of eyes. Both the Warriors (No. 6) and Lakers (No. 7) finished the season by going 8-2 in their final 10 games. Neither team will have home-court advantage in the first round and perhaps beyond, but no one would be shocked if they emerged from the West to reach the NBA Finals.