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Today's top picks: Epicenter to win Preakness Stakes among best bets, plus NBA Playoffs, MLB and MMA picks for Saturday, May 21

SportsLine's proven experts share their favorite bets on the Early Edge podcast for Saturday, May 21
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Allan Bell is joined by Mike McClure, John Bollman, Andrew Gombas and Gene Menez on the Early Edge podcast, powered by SportsLine. Get highlighted plays for the NBA Playoffs, MLB, MMA and Preakness Stakes for Saturday, May 21, and you can stream the show live every morning on the SportsLine YouTube page.

After delving into the trends and discussing the huge Saturday sport slate, Allan offers the SportsLine Play of the Day, and it's an NBA pick from the Celtics vs. Heat matchup at 8:30 p.m. ET. The play is Over 207.5, as both games in the Eastern Conference Finals series so far have totaled at least 225. The teams have met in eight conference finals games since 2020, and the Over is 8-0.

Mike has an MLB pick, taking the Cardinals Over 4.5 runs (-115) at Pittsburgh (6:35 p.m. ET). The Pirates will be starting left-hander Jose Quintana, and St. Louis is the best team in MLB against left-handed pitching. Quintana's weighted on-base average this season is a stellar .254, but his expected number is .353. "Not a good number," Mike says. "He's been THE luckiest pitcher in Major League Baseball so far this season." McClure expects his luck to run out against the Cards.

Bollman also has an MLB pick, on Game 1 of the Mets vs. Rockies doubleheader (3:10 p.m.). John likes New York -125 after Friday night's game was snowed out. The Mets have been good in doubleheaders this season, and the extra day of rest should help te New York bullpen.

Gombas has two plays from UFC Fight Night, and he is taking a pair of underdogs. The first comes from the co-main event, and Andrew is backing Santiago Ponzinibbio (+125) to take down Michel Pereira in their welterweight bout. "I just think he's the more well-put-together fighter," Andrew says of Ponzinibbio, adding that he has faced tougher competition. In the Polyana Viana vs. Tabatha Ricci women's strawweight fight, Andrew likes Viana +110.

Gene is all over horse racing, and he makes it clear that "Epicenter is going to win the Preakness Stakes." Menez is going to leverage that strong opinion in his bets. He says the Kentucky Derby runner-up could end up at odds of around 3-5, so he is going with a Pick 3. His picks include five horses from the Sir Barton Stakes, three from the Jim McKay Turf Sprint and Epicenter to win the Preakness.

Gene's selections from the Sir Barton include Ethereal Road, a strong horse in the run-up to the Derby. Gene really likes Carotari in the second race. "If you really wanted to get bold, you could maybe narrow this race down just to the 2 (Carotari)," Menez says. "But I don't feel that comfortable." The Pick 3 offers 15 different combinations, and it will pay off big if it hits.        

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SportsLine Staff