Leonard Fournette to shine, plus a Bucs-Cowboys parlay: Best bets for Jan. 16

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette runs during the second half of an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

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 Monday, Jan. 16:

TOP PLAY

The play: NFL playoffs, Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette OVER 36.5 rushing yards

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: BetMGM

Time/TV: Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8:15 p.m. (ESPN, ABC)

Our take: The Buccaneers are usually a pass-first offense with Tom Brady at quarterback, but they’ve been able to run the football more effectively during the postseason thanks to Leonard Fournette.

Fournette has donned the nickname “Playoff Lenny” the past two seasons thanks to strong postseason performances on the ground, and he’s set to continue that trend tonight against a Cowboys defense that’s struggled against opposing running backs recently.

The Cowboys surrendered over 100 rushing yards to a beat up Washington Commanders backfield last week, so Fournette should have plenty of opportunity to go well over 37 yards.

COWBOYS-BUCS PARLAY

The play: Cowboys (-3) over Buccaneers, plus Cowboys at Buccaneers OVER 45.5 points

The odds/bet: +282 ($10 to win $28.20)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Our take: We didn’t feel confident enough in the spread or the total to make either one our top play, so we decided to go with a parlay instead with both of them.

We’re going with the Cowboys to cover based on the fact that they’re regular season resume is much more impressive than the Buccaneers, and this has the feel of a game that they’ll step up in with so many people doubting Dak Prescott and company.

It also has the feel of a potential shootout between Prescott and Tom Brady, so we’re going to bank on another high-scoring Wild Card Weekend contest and take the over since these teams have changed since their 19-3 Week 1 contest.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Sunday’s best bets

  • NFL playoffs, Giants +3 over Vikings (WON $30)
  • NFL playoffs, Giants running back Saquon Barkley over 72.5 rushing yards (LOST $11.50)

Sunday’s profit/loss: +$18.50 (1-1)

Final total for the week: +$69.50 (8-6)

Total for January: +$122.50 (17-12)

Total for 2023: +$122.50 (17-12)

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).

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