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. 11:
The play: College basketball, Auburn +3½ vs. Alabama
The odds: -120
The book: FanDuel Sportsbook
Time/TV: 2 p.m. (ESPN)
Our take: Alabama has been among the hottest teams in the country and is running away with the Southeastern Conference race — but this is a bad spot for the Crimson Tide. Auburn has lost two straight on the road and now returns home, where it had won 28 straight before losing to Texas A&M on Jan. 25.
On the court, the pick makes sense, too. Alabama runs the fastest tempo in the country, averaging 73.7 possessions per game according to KenPom.com. But Bruce Pearl’s teams have never minded playing fast and should be able to take advantage of the Tide’s few weaknesses on offense, namely when they don’t get shots to the rim — giving up steals and blocks.
What’s more, Alabama hasn’t been nearly as dominant away from home, struggling to put away teams like LSU and Mississippi State and getting blown out at Oklahoma.
It’ll be one of the most feverish crowds of the season, too, and that’s a factor that played into our hands in picking Indiana to top No. 1 Purdue last week. We’ll look for it again.
PREMIER LEAGUE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
The play: English Premier League, Newcastle to beat Bournemouth
The odds: -170
The book: FanDuel Sportsbook
Time/TV: 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
Our take: This one almost seems too easy. Bournemouth hasn’t won a Premier League game since Nov. 12, before the World Cup break, and Newcastle is fighting for a top-four spot and automatic qualification to next season’s Champions League.
And even if you start digging deeper, there’s just not much reason to believe the Cherries won’t be ripe for the picking here. They can’t score — one goal in six Premier League games since the break — and they’re only slightly better at keeping goals out. Bournemouth has allowed a goal in 17 of 21 EPL games this year, including 14 of its past 16, and they’re last in the league by a wide margin with 43 goals allowed.
It’s no fun to lay this much juice, but bite the bullet and do it here to make some easy early-weekend profit.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NBA: Clippers -2.5 over Bucks (LOST)
PGA: Rory McIlroy better second round than Collin Morikawa (pending)
Friday’s record: 0-1, 1 pending
Total for the week: 2-7, 1 pending
Total for February: 8-10, 1 pending
Total for 2023: 33-44, 1 pending
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).