Can Baker Mayfield lead Rams to cover vs. Raiders? Thursday’s Best Bets (Dec. 8)

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield watches during warm ups before an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

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 Thursday, Dec. 8:

TOP PLAY

The play: NFL, Rams +6 over Raiders

The odds/bet: -105 ($31.50 to win $30)

The book: BetMGM

Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. (Amazon Prime Video)

Our take: They don’t play very often, so take this trend for what it’s worth, but the Raiders have defeated the Rams just once this century (in five tries), and that was a two-point win in Oakland.

Neither of these teams is going anywhere, and this game could be an experiment with Baker Mayfield at the helm for the Rams, especially if John Wolford can’t go. Well, that’s a bad thing, you say? I actually think Mayfield could be on a five-game trial to see if he has any shot at remaining in this league. If that’s the case, I expect him to play better than he did in Carolina – especially against a defense that is ranked 27th in the NFL and 30th against the pass.

Even in their three-game winning streak, when they have defeated powerhouses (facetious) Denver, Seattle and LA Chargers, they have allowed 70 combined points and 26 per game the past two weeks.

While we’re not ready to go and tell you to play the money line, we think it will be close, and this is a super-fade-the-public kind of game.

NFL TEAM TOTAL

The play: NFL, Rams to score over 19.5 points

The odds/bet: +115 ($10 to win $11.50)

The book: BetMGM

Our take: We just laid out our reasons why we like the over for the Rams, and although they don’t have a ton of offensive weapons available, they still will find a way to score more than 20.

In fact, Las Vegas has allowed 20 or more points in every game this season except to the offensively-challenged Broncos, who still scored 16 against them.

Maybe this should have been the best bet?

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NBA: Jazz -7.5 over Warriors (LOST $33)

College basketball: BYU -7 over Utah Valley (LOST $11)

Thursday’s profit/loss: -$44 (0-2)

Total for the week: -$68 (1-5)

Total for December: -$56 (5-9)

Total for 2022: +$316.40 (319-339)

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).

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