In Big Play
Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates the game-winning goal by teammate Carter Verhaeghe in overtime in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 8, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. The Florida Panthers defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Photo/The Associated Press

Put the broom away.

Down 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, the Florida Panthers, scratched and clawed and scraped their way back into the series with a 3-2 OT win on Thursday.

The Panthers were generally -125 in Game 3. The total came in Under 6 despite overtime.

So, series odds have shifted once again. After opening at around -135, Golden Knights bettors saw the price jump to as high as -555 after impressive wins Game 1 and Game 2. Now the VGK are generally around -260 or -270 to claim the Cup named for Lord Stanley. If you like the other side, you can find the Panthers in the +230 range.

“We don’t know how we’re going to get there,” Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk told the Miami Herald and other reporters after the game. “But we’re going to do everything we can to get there.”

Said Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel to the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Give them credit. They stuck around, they found a goal at the end, and then they win in overtime.”

The line for Game 4 is virtually identical to Game 3. The Panthers are again -125, the Golden Knights are +105 and the total is 6.

The puck drop from Sunrise, Florida, is at 5 p.m.

So, are you clutching your series tickets tightly? Or do you have them in a safe-deposit box? They might be worth something, you know.


— The NBA Finals: The Denver Nuggets are again favored in Game 4 vs. the Miami Heat after taking a 2-1 series lead with a 109-94 win in Game 3.

The Western Conference power is -3.5 vs. the Heat with the total at 211. The total is edging down after two of the previous games went Under the total with only Game 2 going Over.

“They just pummeled us in the paint,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told The Associated Press after the game. “They didn’t really have to shoot 3s. They had, whatever, 60 in the paint (yes, it was 60.) They probably shot over 65 percent in the paint at the rim there. Wasn’t a need to space the floor.”

And now Game 4. It’s Friday night with a 5:30 p.m. tip.

If you like the Heat to rally and win the Finals, you can find them at +550 at BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. Conversely, the Nuggets are -800 and -833 at the two Las Vegas-based sports books.

— Big match in UFC 289: Amanda Nunes is a heavy -350 favorite vs. Irene Aldana at +275 in Saturday’s UFC 289. Nunes brings her 22-5-0 mark to the featured bantamweight bout. Aldana is 14-6-0.

“For me, she is the greatest of all time,” Aldana said of Nunes to MMA News. “For me she is. And that’s what makes it even more great for me being able to have this opportunity against her, to be one of the greatest. I respect her, it’s an honor for me. And yeah, but as much as I respect her, for me in this fight, I’m coming with the mentality of winning.”

The total is 2.5 rounds. Over is -130 and Under is +110.

The fight is at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.

— Unbeaten no longer: The Las Vegas Aces are no longer unbeaten. And for that matter, their record against the spread (ATS) isn’t that impressive either.

The Aces beat the Connecticut Sun and narrowly covered -5 vs. on Tuesday after a fourth-quarter collapse from the Aces let the Sun back in the game and also left the point spread up in the air in the final minutes. The Aces won that game, 98-92.

On Friday, however, the finale of their four-game road trip, the Sun dominated the Aces in a 94-77 win. Since the Aces were -5 again, the Sun covered by 22 points.

“Obviously, nobody’s out there trying to mess up or not play hard,” coach Becky Hammon told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We didn’t have it tonight — just didn’t have it. It’s really, for the most part, the first time that’s happened since I’ve been here.”

That leaves their won-loss record at 7-1, but their ATS record at a middlin’ 4-4.

They will be favored vs. when they host the Chicago Sky at noon Sunday but there is no line yet. Ironically, the Sky hold the best ATS record in the WNBA — 6-1-1.

— Counting the days: The Las Vegas Raiders are still +3.5 with a total of 45 for their Sept. 10 opening day game at the Denver Broncos.

“I don’t worry about the things I can’t control,” coach JoshMcDaniels told Fox Sports about QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s recovery from a left-foot injury. “I have very good information we’re going to be fine. Nothing has happened that would have changed that.”

Betting lines are not yet posted for the Raiders preseason slate, Week 1 hosting the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 13, Week 2 at the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 19 and Week 3 at the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 26. But expect small point-spread lines and low totals, typical for preseason.

There is, however, a side now posted for the Aug. 3 Hall of Fame Game. The Cleveland Browns are -1.5 vs. the New York Jets.

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