Vegas Writer's Daily Recap - May 20, 2023

by Vegas Writer

Saturday, May 20, 2023
Let's tip off Saturday's Daily Recap with the WNBA.

A split for the home and road teams, while three of the four games stayed under the posted number.

Let's start with one of the league's preseason favorites, as the New York Liberty went into the nation's capital and got smacked around by the Washington Mystics in an 80-64 loss.

Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins each scored 14 points in the win, while it seems New York coach Sandy Brondello has plenty of work to do in blending personalities with three new additions in Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot. The Liberty started the game making just 5 of 23 shots and finished the first half shooting 27%. It was a clear sign that it'll take time before the Liberty can figure out who should get the offense flowing, especially with prolific scorer Sabrina Ionescu in the lineup.

The defending Eastern Conference champion Connecticut Sun went into Indianapolis and beat the Fever by nine points, 70-61, spoiling the debut of No. 1 overall pick Aliyah Boston, who finished one rebound shy of a double-double (15 points, 9 rebounds). The Fever, last year's cellar dweller in the league, did some impressive things late and got as close as five points, but couldn't quite complete the comeback.

The new-look Chicago Sky got the best of the Minnesota Lynx, 77-66. Kahleah Copper had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Alanna Smith added 15 points to lead the Sky. Chicago outscored the Lynx 22-3 in the second quarter to take a 17-point lead into the locker room at the break.

The Los Angeles Sparks spoiled the much-ballyhooed return of Brittney Griner, as crushed the Phoenix Mercury, 94-71. Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 points and rookie Zia Cooke chipped in 14, as the Sparks got the win and cover in my Western Conference Game of the Month.

Two games on the card for Saturday, as the Atlanta Dream and Dallas Wings tip at 1 pm eastern, and the defending champion Las Vegas Aces open defense of their title in Seattle against a Storm team that will open their season without Sue Bird for the first time in 20 years.

In the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights took a 1-0 series lead over the Dallas Stars with a 4-3 overtime win, when Brett Howden's shot off the back of netminder Jake Oettinger found its way in the net just 1:35 into the extra period.

The Golden Knights looked like the better team from the jump, skating furiously while the Stars lacked the energy coach Pete DeBoer hoped to see after being taken to seven games by the Seattle Kraken.

The two resume their series Sunday at 3 pm eastern.

Tonight, it's Game 2 between the Panthers and Hurricanes, as puck drop is at 8:05 pm eastern, less than 48 hours after that marathon 4OT thriller on Thursday.

NHL Notes:
Road teams are 42-33 in the postseason.

Underdogs are 36-38 in the postseason, with a $100 wager on the pups turning a profit of roughly $1200.

The Over is 40-34-1, but the Under has cashed 25 of the last 45 games.

There have been 20 overtime games, and road teams are 14-6 in those games.

NHL favorites higher than -150 are 14-31 on the puck line this postseason.

In the NBA, I went 1-0-1 with the Miami Heat winning outright again, and the total finishing as a push.

Boston's Grant Williams didn't do his team any favors by going forehead-to-forehead with Jimmy Butler in a short dust up. Butler hit back-to-back buckets to tie the game and give Miami the lead, finished with 27 points, and the eighth-seeded Heat left Boston with a 111-105 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Butler contributed nine points during a 23-9 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 105-100 lead, and the Heat never looked back.

The series shifts for Games 3 and 4, to Miami, where the Heat have covered six of seven.

Went 3-2-1 on Friday, including the Miami Heat outright. I'm on an 80-63-4 overall run for $13,790 net profit since 4/17, including a 40-24-3 NBA run for $13,550. And part of that NBA win streak is a 27-15 run with side selections. Tonight I'm in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals with my NBA SIDE WINNER # 28 of 43.

On the MLB diamond, five of the 14 underdogs won Friday, with one game a pick. No doubt about it the most notable was the Pittsburgh Pirates at +150 (DraftKings), as they devoured the Arizona Diamondbacks, 13-3. The Pirates have now won three of four behind an offense that is hitting .293 and averaging 6.2 runs per game since May 14.

Friday, I hit my MLB Blank Check Winner # 5 of 7 on the Giants. I'm on an 80-63-4 overall run for $13,790 net profit since 4/17. And since the start of the MLB season, I've hit five of my first seven BLANK CHECK releases. Tonight I've isolated one specific game for you, and you have my permission to fill in the blank. Whatever you want to put on this game, feel free. It's my MLB BLANK CHECK WINNER # 6 OF 8.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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