Wise n' Shine: Final Four picks, MLB predictions and NHL best bets for Saturday, April 1
Good morning, Pickswise Nation, and welcome to another wonderful weekend of sports. The Final Four is finally here! Plus, the MLB is back and there are also NBA and NHL slates to enjoy today, so let’s get straight to making your next bet better.
About Last Night
Caitlin Clark puts on a show
The NCAA Women’s Final Four took place on Friday, and Iowa guard Caitlin Clark made a statement on the biggest stage. Clark dropped 43 points to help send the Hawkeyes to the National Championship game, taking down undefeated South Carolina in the process. Iowa opened as a 1.5-point favorite over LSU in Sunday’s National Title game, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Upsets abound in the MLB
Friday’s Major League Baseball slate was a quiet one in terms of volume, but there was plenty of excitement to be had. The Marlins, Diamondbacks, Guardians and Rockies all won as underdogs, with 3 of those 4 wins coming on the road. The start to the season has certainly been profitable for the underdog better, as money line underdogs are off to a 12-9 start through the first 2 days of the season.
Lakers pick up a massive road win
We had a 13-game NBA slate on Friday, and the Western Conference standings had another massive shake-up. The Lakers knocked off the Timberwolves on the road to improve to 39-38 on the season and claim temporary control of the #7 seed in the West as a result. In other results, the Knicks got 48 points from Jalen Brunson in a win over the Cavaliers, the Nets thrashed the Hawks 124-107 and the Grizzlies beat the Clippers 108-94.
Final Four is here
After a 6-day break in the action, March Madness’ biggest weekend has arrived. The Final Four in Houston will go off on Saturday and it features UConn, Miami, San Diego State and Florida Atlantic. Read our expert’s Final Four predictions.
Full slate of MLB games
After we had just 5 games on Friday, we’ve got a full slate of MLB action on Saturday. Some of the highlights include Giants vs Yankees on FOX, White Sox vs Astros and Guardians vs Mariners on FS1. Read all of today’s MLB predictions.
Quiet night in the Association
Following a bust 13-game slate in the NBA on Friday, we’ve only got a pair of games on tap for today. The highlight is in Miami, where the Heat will host the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. ET in an important tilt for both teams. Elsewhere, the Pelicans are in Los Angeles to take on the Clippers. Read today’s NBA picks.
Massive NHL day ahead
Saturday’s slate is a big one on the ice. The biggest game is in Colorado, where the Avalanche host the red-hot Dallas Stars in an important Central Division matchup. Elsewhere, the Bruins will take on the Penguins at 3:00 p.m. ET on ABC, while the Devils take on the Blackhawks at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Get today’s NHL picks.
Best Bet of the Day
MLB: Minnesota Twins -1.5 (+100) over Kansas City Royals
4:10 pm ET
Minnesota opened their season with a win, and they have a great chance to start a winning streak with Sonny Gray on the mound on Saturday. Gray was excellent for the Twins last season, with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 24 starts. One team that Gray always seemed to find success against was the Royals, as the veteran finished with just 1 earned run, 8 hits and 22 strikeouts allowed in 19 innings against Kansas City. He will face a Royals lineup that managed just 2 hits on Opening Day as their young lineup demonstrated their inexperience. Saturday’s start will be Gray’s 4th in Kansas City in his career, and so far, he is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Minnesota has a clear pitching advantage, and their offense was obviously the superior squad on Opening Day. Read our full Twins vs Royals predictions.
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Head over to our March Madness hub for all our NCAA Tournament picks, parlays and analysis, including our Final Four parlay. Be sure to check out our Same Game Parlays for FAU-SDSU and UConn-Miami before tip-off, plus we’ve also got an EPL parlay for Saturday’s action as well.
Read all of our great sports analysis as it arrives throughout the day on the Analysis tab.
Stat of the Day
Friday’s defeat to Iowa was the first loss for the South Carolina women’s basketball team in their last 63 games.
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