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Three-Play Thursday: Best Bets for May 26

All good things come to an end, and that was the case on Wednesday with a 1-4 mark where my luck just straight up ran out. Of course, three of the four losses could have easily gone the other direction if something had gone a few inches the other way. If Colorado hits an empty net, the series is over and my bet cashes. If the Red Sox and White Sox don’t combine to leave 27 men on base when I needed just four of those 27 to score, that’s another one. If the Orioles had done anything at all at the plate, their pitching again gave them a chance to win.

That’s sports betting, and it’s why any wins are a good thing. Unfortunately, today is not really a day to bounce back, because there is just not much of anything on the slate tonight. European soccer is mostly over until August. Baseball has a light slate. Hockey is down to only three matchups with the Panthers out. My record on NBA bets is worse than Greuther Furth’s Bundesliga performance. MLS won’t play until Saturday. (Memo to the USFL: Play at least one game a week on Wednesday or Thursday if you get a season two.)

And this is supposed to be my parlay day…so what am I to do? Go with the other meaning of Three-Play: three plays only. Is it a cop-out? Sure. But I’d rather give you three picks I feel great about than nine where I’m completely throwing a dart on half of them. Here we go; these are my best bets for May 26.


The play is either here or with the Hurricanes, and I just don’t like the value of taking Carolina at -150 when the under has been so successful. The Canes have been excellent when making the second line change on home ice, and I think they’ll get the matchups they want to frustrate the Rangers’ offense in Game 5. Under 5.5 has cashed in five straight matchups where the Canes had the second line change (two were in the bubble in Toronto during the 2020 playoff tournament and the teams didn’t play in 2021), and I’ll take it again here with Shesterkin standing tall against the Carolina attack.


Calgary has proven completely incapable of stopping Edmonton, even with the second line change. The Flames simply do not have an answer for the line of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane, which means Calgary is going to have to score to win this game. That’s good and bad, as the Flames are generating the better chances in this series and Mike Smith can’t sustain his play for too much longer, but Calgary’s finishing has been incredibly poor in this series.

Edmonton should do its share of the scoring. In fact, there’s a prop play here I love: Leon Draisaitl over 1.5 points at +130. McDavid is getting all the attention (and it’s deserved), but Draisaitl has actually been even better, scoring 13 points in the series. Yet McDavid’s going off at -130 while Draisaitl can be had for plus money. If you want a parlay from me today, here it is: Edmonton +1.5, over 6.5 and Draisaitl over 1.5 points at +540.


Speaking of another team that needs to just outscore its opposition: the Phillies defense’ sucks. There’s only so much the Phils can do because Bryce Harper’s bat is too important to leave out of the lineup (especially with a DH) and he can’t play outfield until August, but Philadelphia has to throw itself into several bad defensive situations in order to get Harper in the batting order. Nick Castellanos isn’t good at defense and neither is Kyle Schwarber.

That means the Phillies have three mashers in the lineup but two defensive liabilities (plus Alec Bohm, another problem in the field), which lends itself to a lot of overs. The Phillies and Braves have scored 33 runs in three games in this series, and the over looks good again.

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