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, Oct. 14:
The play: MLB playoffs, Dodgers over Padres
The odds/bet: -120 ($36 to win $30)
The book: BetMGM
Time/TV: 8:37 p.m. (FS1)
Our take: After the first three innings of Game 1, in which the Dodgers jumped out to a 5-0 lead, the Padres have more or less controlled this series. That’s a bit surprising, of course, as Los Angeles had one of the best regular seasons in MLB history. But the vagaries of a short series rule all, and now San Diego heads home with a split and a small advantage in the starting pitching matchup for Game 3, with red-hot Blake Snell facing Tony Gonsolin, who went 16-1 in the regular season but generally isn’t good beyond five innings.
But the line has gone too far in the Padres’ favor here. The Dodgers still have the deeper lineup and better bullpen, and the home-field advantage will be muted here in a stadium that will have plenty of L.A. fans just a couple of hours south of Dodger Stadium.
The Padres won Game 2 largely because their situational hitting was much better than the Dodgers’: Los Angeles was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position, including a costly double play in the sixth inning. The Dodgers’ lineup is too good for that to continue, and these odds are too good not to play.
NBA PRESEASON PLAY
The play: NBA preseason, Jazz +7 vs. Mavericks
The odds/bet: -115 ($11.50 to win $10)
The book: FanDuel
Time/TV: 9 p.m. (none)
Our take: Our lead writer Jim Derry will call you a degenerate just for thinking about betting NBA preseason, but what Jim refuses to acknowledge is that the preseason — this goes for MLB Spring Training and NFL too — often has softer lines than regular-season matchups that are more heavily scrutinized.
The NBA preseason has a trend that has lasted the entire month, so we’re going to give it a shot on the final day of games before the regular season starts Tuesday: Favorites of 5 points or more are just 10-19 against the spread (and only 15-14 straight up). Usually, if a team is going to be favored by that much in the preseason, you’d think the oddsmakers are aware of player rotations, injuries and rest that would affect who’s playing.
But that hasn’t worked this year, and we’re willing to follow the trend that’s won to the tune of more than 65% against the spread. Take Utah with the points.
HOW WE’VE FARED
Thursday’s best bets
NFL: Commanders-Bears UNDER 38 (WON $30)
NFL prop: First score to be Commanders FG (WON $16)
Thursday’s profit/loss: +$46 (2-0)
Total for the week: +$134.10 (5-2, 1 pending)
Total for October: +$294.80 (17-5, 1 pending)
Total for 2022: +$94.10 (262-288, 1 pending)
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).