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 Saturday, Dec. 3:
The play: World Cup, Netherlands to score in second half
The odds/bet: -130 ($39 to win $30)
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: 10 a.m. (FOX)
Our take: There are a lot of different betting options for this one. First of all, keep in mind that a typical wager on soccer is what’s called a three-way bet: You can pick either team to win or a draw, even in a knockout game like this where overtime and penalty kicks will be used to decide a winner, if necessary.
If you bet on the three-way line (USA +330, Netherlands -110, Draw +225), the result at the end of a regular game (90 minutes plus stoppage time) will decide the bet. So even if the U.S. goes on to win the game in extra time, the “draw” at +225 will be graded the winner. If you just want to bet on which team will ultimately move onto the quarterfinals, no matter whether it’s in regulation or extra time, then use the “to qualify” line: Netherlands -240, USA +170.
This is a long way of saying there isn’t great value on this game. The United States’ best hope is to keep this game tight and either hold off the Netherlands at the end or get into extra time and see what happens. It’s tough to find a bet to encompass that — perhaps the under 2½ goals, but that’s juiced up to -185.
Instead, we’re going to the prop market. The U.S. played well in the first half of all three group games, dominating Wales and Iran and even keeping England on its heels. The second halves were a different story, with Wales tying the game and Iran nearly doing the same. It’s not a fluke, either: The U.S. doesn’t have great depth, and many of their top players don’t play full 90-minute shifts for their club teams.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, scored three of their five group-stage games in the second half and have controlled games more as they’ve gone on. If the game is tied or the U.S. has a lead at the half, bank on the Dutch to go full-bore in the second half and get at least one in the back of the net.
BIG 12 TITLE GAME
The play: College football, Kansas State money line over TCU in Big 12 title game
The odds/bet: +110 ($10 to win $11)
The book: DraftKings
Time/TV: Noon (ABC)
Our take: We’ve had one upset in championship weekend already, with Utah knocking USC out of College Football Playoff contention with a 47-24 win Friday night in the Pac-12 championship game.
It’s unclear whether TCU would fall out of the CFP with a loss in this one, but it’s true the Horned Frogs are in for a battle. They managed to rally to beat the Wildcats 38-28 in the teams’ first meeting, but K-State quarterback Adrian Martinez was knocked out early and the game was at TCU.
This time, KSU — one of the hottest teams in the country — will play its way to its second Big 12 title victory.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NBA: Pelicans -7 over Spurs (WON $30)
College football: Utah +3 over USC (WON $10)
Friday’s profit/loss: +$40 (2-0)
Total for the week: +$160.90 (8-2)
Total for November: +$375.30 (37-26)
Total for 2022: +$391.40 (316-332)
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).