Backing Team LeBron in the NBA All-Star Game and an EPL pick: Best bets for Feb. 19

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Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James dribbles down court during the NBA All-Star game in Cleveland, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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 Sunday, Feb. 19:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA All-Star Game, Team LeBron money line over Team Giannis

The odds: -148

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8 p.m. (TNT)

Our take: There aren’t too many mouth-watering betting options around the sports world on Sunday. Luckily, the day is headlined by the NBA All-Star Game. The league is changing the star-studded event this year. The NBA is giving the game a more fun and playful feel by taking some rules from backyard basketball.

The two team captains — Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James — will draft their teams about an hour before tipoff. This obviously makes the game difficult to predict from an oddsmaker’s standpoint. However, FanDuel Sportsbook has bettors covered as NBA All-Star Game lines have been out for days.

This is King James’ fifth consecutive time captaining an NBA All-Star Game and he’s undefeated up to this point. Two of those wins came against Antetokounmpo and Co., which makes me even more confident in backing James and his selections. Furthermore, it’s unclear right now how much Antetokounmpo will be involved after suffering a wrist injury against the Chicago Bulls.

I feel comfortable taking Team LeBron to continue its winning streak, but I’m not going to touch the spread (-3) without knowing the teams. There’s better value in picking the spread at -110 — I’m going to play it safe with Sunday’s best bet, though.

PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY

The play: English Premier League, Tottenham money line over West Ham

The odds: -125

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 11:30 a.m. (USA Network)

Our take: Two weeks ago, I picked against Zach Ewing’s Tottenham and how did that go for me? Spurs went out and just beat arguably the league’s best team, Manchester City. I’m not going to make that same mistake twice, especially not against a West Ham side that’s won only one league game since Halloween.

Tottenham hasn’t played its best football this season under Antonio Conte. Regardless, the Italian is a serial winner. His team has an opportunity to climb temporarily into the top four after Newcastle’s loss to Liverpool. Spurs should be looking to bounce back from a midweek loss in Milan against one of the worst the Premier League has to offer.

Tottenham has the goalscorers — Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, etc. — that the Hammers simply do not. Goals come easy for Spurs, which makes beating bottom-table sides much easier. There shouldn’t be any twists and turns in this Sunday morning narrative.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Saturday’s best bets

  • NCAAB: LSU -6½ over South Carolina (LOST)
  • NCAAB: Arkansas -9 over Florida (WON)

Saturday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 5-5, 1 PGA bet pending

Total for February: 15-18, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 40-52, 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, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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