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, Feb. 4:
The play: College basketball money line, Indiana over Purdue
The odds: -114
The book: FanDuel Sportsbook
Time/TV: 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Our take: Get ready to read this headline at least a couple of times tomorrow night: “Indiana stuns No. 1 Purdue” and then get ready for all of the internet sleuths to rightly proclaim that this was NOT in fact an upset. That’s the way of things in college basketball, where many fans and media members still treat the Associated Press rankings as some sort of gospel when they should be more of a general guideline for casual fans.
Truth is, Indiana is favored in this game in most spots. That might surprise you, but consider that the Hoosiers are also a top 20 team and have a beast inside in Trayce Jackson-Davis who can counteract the advantage the Boilermakers enjoy over most teams with 7-footer Zach Edey. Jackson-Davis, unlike Edey, is actually something of an NBA prospect and is No. 15 in the nation in blocking opponents’ shots 10.1% of the time according to KenPom.com (that’s about 25% better than Edey’s rate).
What’s more, Indiana has played extremely well at Assembly Hall this year, going 11-1 with 11 double-digit losses and a one-point loss to Northwestern. If you know about this rivalry, you’ll understand what the place is going to sound like this evening. And if you don’t, suffice it to say the crowd will be Geeked. Up.
So will the headline writers when Indiana “upsets” Purdue.
PGA PLAY AT PEBBLE BEACH
The play: PGA Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Kevin Tway better third round than Seung-Yul Noh
The odds: -125
The book: Caesars Sportsbook
Time/TV: 10:52 a.m. (coverage starts at noon on Golf Channel, 3 p.m. CBS)
Our take: Only diehard golf fans have probably heard of either of these guys, but we’re all interested in making money, and this is one of the better-value golf bets of the year thus far.
If you’ve read us before, you know the trick to predicting golf is looking at how golfers have set themselves up to score — not necessarily how well they’ve scored. That’s because the actual score often has to do with a hot putter, and putting is the most fickle of all golf skills; anyone who’s played their local nine will tell you it can come and go in a hurry.
So here we have Kevin Tway and Seung -Yul Noh, who come in with almost the same score through two rounds of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Noh is 1-under and Tway is even par.
The difference is that Tway lost nearly 2.5 strokes putting relative to the rest of the field in the round he played on Pebble Beach (the one course at this tournament with shot-tracker capabilities), while Noh gained more than 3, the most in the entire field. This is even though Noh is not normally a great putter. What’s more, the Pebble Beach area is supposed to get very windy in the late morning/early afternoon, and Noh has been spraying the ball all week, only to be bailed out by his putter.
Given that we only have to pay -125 juice, there seems to be a large value on Tway here.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NBA player prop: Jayson Tatum UNDER 30.5 points (WON)
NBA: Blazers +3½ over Wizards (WON)
Friday’s record: 2-0
Total for the week: 7-3
Total for February: 5-1
Total for 2023: 30-35
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).