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. 22:
The play: NCAAF: Air Force-Baylor (Armed Forces Bowl) UNDER 43.5
The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Our take: It’s rare for four people to agree on anything today, especially when it’s four strong personalities discussing sports betting. However, the entire Home Field Sports staff (Zach Ewing, Jim Derry, Spencer Urquhart and Gabe Henderson) agreed that the under is the way to go in Thursday night’s Armed Forces Bowl.
These picks were all made on Dec. 15 in the Home Field Sports staff’s College Football Bowl Betting Guide (Part One), and that was before we learned about the weather. It’s expected to be about 17 degrees in Fort Worth around kickoff with wind gusts of around 20 miles per hour. Those sound like miserable conditions for not only the fans but also the offenses on each side.
Air Force has an offense dependent on the triple option, which chews the clock like nobody’s business. Baylor coach Dave Aranda is also a defensive specialist who will be eager to end the season on a high note. Weather conditions will make it tougher for the Bears to throw the ball, as well, which means that there shouldn’t be many end-zone trips for either side throughout the game.
The under has hit in Air Force’s last five games overall and Baylor’s last four games in the month of December. 43.5 is too many points for these two offenses to tally in these winter conditions, the under is the safe play here.
TREVOR LAWRENCE TURNOVER
The play: NFL, Trevor Lawrence OVER 0.5 interceptions
The odds/bet: -128 ($12.80 to win $10)
The book: FanDuel Sportsbook
Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. (Amazon Prime Video)
Our take: You’d be smart to stay far away from picking a winner in this game considering how unpredictable both the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets have been in recent years. Thus, it’s time to look at some player props.
Trevor Lawrence’s passing line is set at 0.5 total interceptions on Thursday Night Football. The Jaguars’ star quarterback has quietly been one of the best signal-callers in the league this season with only seven interceptions. Most of those turnovers came in the first two months of the season. He went over a month without throwing a pick before coughing it up against the Dallas Cowboys last weekend.
Taking all of those stats into account, why are we taking the over on his total interceptions line tonight? The weather. It’s going to be cold and rainy in East Rutherford. The last time Lawrence played in these conditions against a secondary with as much quality as New York’s, he threw for just 174 yards and threw an interception against Philadelphia. I like the No. 4 pass defense in the league to pick off Lawrence on Thursday.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NBA: Bulls +6 over Hawks (WON $30)
Tuesday’s profit/loss: +$30 (1-0)
Total for the week: +$110 (5-0)
Total for December: +$73.20 (19-19)
Total for 2022: +$280.10 (331-350)
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).