Two Group of Five favorites in college football: Best Bets for Sept. 3

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Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks in Louisiana are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

A reminder for those who haven’t signed up yet: New users can get a risk-free bet at Caesars Sportsbook, meaning that if your first bet loses, you get a free bet for the same amount up to $1,250. New users also get 1,000 Caesars Rewards points to redeem for hotel or casino credit.

Here are our best bets for Saturday, Sept. 3:


The play: College football, San Diego State -6 over Arizona

The odds/bet: -115 ($34.50 to win $30)

The book: DraftKings

Time/TV: 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Our take: Arizona has a lot of transfers in, including quarterback Jayden de Laura from Washington State, but simply put, this is a bare-bones roster in a tough spot here.

San Diego State was 16th in the country in scoring defense and 12th in total defense last year; Arizona was 124th in scoring offense and 101st in total offense. That about says everything you need to know right there.

The spread is puzzling, and my only guess is that it hasn’t gone above a touchdown because of the uncertainty around Arizona’s new-look roster and some deference to the Power Five conference team, but the Wildcats have lost 11 in a row on the road dating to 2019. Expect that streak to continue here as you get used to hearing the CBS college football theme without an SEC game playing.


The play: College football, Appalachian State -1.5 over North Carolina

The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: Noon (ESPNU)

Our take: Another game with a Group of Five team hosting a Power Five team, and the spread isn’t necessarily what you’d expect (Houston laying only four points at UTSA is another). There’s usually a reason for that.

In this case, it’s (1) a terrific home-field advantage, as App State has won 27 of its past 28 in Boone, with a 15-11-2 ATS record; and (2) a matter of experience. The Mountaineers return 13 starters, including sixth-year quarterback Chase Brice. North Carolina has a lot fewer upperclassmen starting.

The Tar Heels struggled at times with a shorthanded Florida A&M last week. App State is a much stiffer test.


Friday’s best bets

College football: Illinois money line over Indiana (LOST $30)

MLB: Phillies money line over Giants (LOST $10)

Friday’s profit/loss: -$40 (0-2)

Total for the week: -$67.40 (3-8)

Total for September: -$80 (0-4)

Total for 2022: -$128.80 (223-253)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

Gambling problem? Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369).

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