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. 15:
The play: NFL, Seahawks +3.5 over 49ers
The odds/bet: -120 ($36 to win $30)
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. (Amazon Prime Video)
Our take: One of the fundamental rules of NFL betting is that you should never bet against a home underdog in a divisional game, especially on primetime. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule — this is not one of them.
As my colleague Jim Derry pointed out in his Week 15 NFL Picks column, Pete Carroll has dominated the San Francisco 49ers during his tenure with Seattle. The Seahawks have won 17 of the last 21 meetings outright with these particular division rivals. Furthermore, Seattle has won nine of its last 10 games on Thursdays; Carroll doesn’t lose on short rest.
Combine those statistics with all of the hype around the 49ers right now and the disappointment in the Pacific Northwest following a loss to the Carolina Panthers and what do you get? A recipe for disaster for San Francisco.
When you try me with a sorry spread like 49ers -4, this is the result you’re going to get. I’m riding with Derry, Carroll and the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.
SUNS GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS
The play: NBA: Suns -5.5 over Clippers
The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: 10:30 p.m. (No local TV)
Our take: The Los Angeles Clippers have ripped off three wins in a row over some impressive opposition. They put the NBA on notice a few days ago when they beat the brakes off the Boston Celtics and they continued this little winning streak on Wednesday with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns have lost five games in a row, including a disappointing 111-97 defeat in Houston on Tuesday. Two straight losses to the New Orleans Pelicans have Monty Williams’ squad dazed and confused right now. The Suns will get their chance at revenge on New Orleans at home later this week, but in the meantime, they have a game to play in L.A.
Phoenix is favored in this game (-5.5). That’s a puzzling line at first glance considering the recent form of each team. However, the Suns are getting Devin Booker back after nearly a week out. The Clippers will also be without a number of key players like Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Kawhi Leonard.
I like Phoenix to bounce back on the road before an all-important rematch against New Orleans on Friday night.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NCAAB: Louisiana Tech -4.5 over Stephen F. Austin (LOST $33)
NBA: Blazers ML, Clippers ML (WON $10)
Wednesday’s profit/loss: -$23 (1-1)
Total for the week: -$27 (3-3)
Total for December: -$95.50 (12-16)
Total for 2022: +$276.90 (326-346)
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).