Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.
Here are our best bets for Friday, Sept. 9:
The play: MLB, Braves money line over Mariners
The odds/bet: -120 ($36 to win $30)
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: 9:40 p.m.
Our take: It’s rare to find anything below a -150 price on the Braves, who have been playing at a 120-win pace for more than three months now. That’s right — the New York Mets leading the NL East all summer and the Los Angeles Dodgers threatening to win 110 games, the Braves have been afterthoughts in the National League but have arguably been playing the best baseball of anyone.
Of course, there are some reasons this price is low: The Mariners also have been hot, as they trend toward their first playoff appearance in 21 years. They’re at home and they’re starting Robbie Ray, last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner.
The truth is, however, that this is a good matchup for Atlanta anyway. They pulverize lefties to the tune of an .808 OPS — meaning the entire team hits like a borderline All-Star against southpaws — and Ray has also allowed the Braves a career .824 OPS.
This isn’t the same Braves team as all of those, of course — it’s actually better. An over 7 is also an option here, as Seattle should provide some offense of its own against Atlanta starter Charlie Morton, but ultimately the Braves are the safest bet.
FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The play: College football, Louisville +6.5 over Central Florida
The odds/bet: -118 ($11.80 to win $10)
The book: FanDuel
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m.
Our take: This is a classic overreaction to Week 1 line. Louisville quite frankly looked awful against Syracuse in its opener, but part of that was turnover driven — quarterback Malik Cunningham had three turnovers after throwing just six interceptions last year — and part might have been a surprise factor after the Orange unveiled a new offensive style to devastating effect.
Against UCF, expect Cunningham and the Cardinals to have a bounce-back effort. The Knights, in the mean time, were dominant in their opener against FCS South Carolina State but will have to step up in class quickly if they’re going to cover nearly a touchdown spread against an ACC opponent.
HOW WE’VE FARED
Thursday’s best bets
NFL: Rams +2.5 vs. Bills (LOST $44)
Thursday’s profit/loss: -$44 (0-1)
Total for the week: -$17.50 (3-3)
Total for September: -$177.60 (3-11)
Total for 2022: -$226.40 (226-260)
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).