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 Sunday, Sept. 18:
The play: NFL teaser, Browns -0.5 over Jets and 49ers -3 over Seahawks
The odds/bet: -120 ($36 to win $30)
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: Cleveland – NY Jets at 1 p.m. ET and San Francisco – Seattle at 4:05 p.m. ET
Our take: If you’re new to betting, one of our favorite moves on NFL game day is finding a “teaser,” in one can take two teams with a six-point cushion in each line. The catch is you must win both to win the bet, so essentially it is a parlay you give and get from.
In such a bet, a key to success is first to fall through as many key numbers as possible, such as 3, 6 and 7. We do enough of that here, as we essentially turn Browns-Jets into a pick ’em and the Niners as a field-goal favorite. (We already feel like San Francisco is a bargain at -9.)
And, to top it off, both teams are at home.
No way Trey Lance is as bad as he looked in the monsoon of Chicago last week, and the 49ers will be licking their chops to come back strong against a team primed for a letdown following a win over former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on Monday in front of the 12th Man.
Cleveland, meanwhile, could be in a dogfight against the Jets, but their running game is strong enough to put the visitors away late in their home opener.
VALUE PLAY … or CRAZY PLAY?
The play: NFL, Cowboys +7.5 over Bengals
The odds/bet: -114 ($11.40 to win $10)
The book: FanDuel
Time/TV: 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Our take: “You’re insane.” “I want some of what you’re smoking.” “Dude, do you even WATCH football?”
I have heard them all this week, but if we played everything that simply passed the “smell test,” we’d be losing as much money as Aunt Mabel and Drunk Joe every week. There’s a reason why the sharps with the big-money bets make big money: They do not bet with the public.
The line on this one just two weeks ago was Dallas -2.5, which means Dak Prescott and last week’s performances are worth a 10-point change? Not even. At most, the loss of Prescott should be about three points with another three due to Cooper Rush being a less-than-average backup quarterback. Even if you drop the Cowboys two points because of last week’s performance, that only gets us to eight total points, which means this line should be 5.5.
Great value, and at most books, the line has been adjusted back to -7, as the bookies are begging you to bet on Cincinnati. And when they do that? You guessed it: We run the other way.
In fact, a small wager on the money line at +275 might not be a bad play, but we don’t want to scare the Bejeezus out of you.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NCAA football total: USC-Fresno State under 72.5 (WON $30)
Saturday’s profit/loss: +$30 (1-0)
Total for the week: +$1.70 (4-7)
Total for September: -$155.40 (11-20)
Total for 2022: -$204.20 (234-269)
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).