Banking on a pair of men’s college hoops chalk favorites: Best bets for Feb. 20

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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.

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 bonus 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 Monday, Feb. 20:


The play: NCAA men’s basketball, Duke (-18) over Louisville

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: There aren’t too many tougher places to play than Cameron Indoor Stadium as evidenced by Duke’s perfect home record in ACC games this season.

This year’s Duke team isn’t as strong as usual having fallen out of the top 25, but they’re still plenty talented enough to win games by wide margins and project to do just that tonight against Louisville.

Louisville has struggled to the tune of a 4-23 record, so while 18 points is a wide spread, Duke should still be able to cover considering how dominant they’ve been at home and how down Louisville is.


The play: NCAA men’s basketball, Illinois (-15) over Minnesota

The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Our take: The Big Ten normally produces exciting basketball matchups that could go either way, but tonight’s Minnesota-Illinois contest isn’t setting up to be that way.

Illinois has been a mid-pack Big Ten team, so while they haven’t played at the level that they’re capable of, they’ve handled business for the most part against lesser opponents.

Minnesota is at the bottom of the Big Ten barrel with a 1-13 conference record, so it should be smooth sailing for Illinois as they look to get back on track after two straight losses.


Sunday’s best bets

  • NBA All-Star Game, Team LeBron money line over Team Giannis (LOST $46.50)
  • English Premier League, Tottenham money line over West Ham (WON $10)
  • PGA Genesis Invitational, Justin Thomas to finish top 10 (LOST $10)

Sunday’s profit/loss: -$36.50 (1-2)

Final total for the week: -14.50 (6-7)

Total for February: -$87.50 (16-20)

Total for 2023: -$155 (41-54)

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, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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