Taking a chance on the Champions League and an NHL total: Best bets for Feb. 21

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Napoli's Giacomo Raspadori, right, celebrates with teammates Mathias Olivera, center, and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa after scoring his sides first goal during the Champions League group A soccer match between Ajax and Napoli at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

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 Tuesday, Feb. 21:

TOP PLAY

The play: UEFA Champions League, Napoli money line over Eintracht Frankfurt

The odds: +120

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 3 p.m. (Paramount+)

Our take: The possibility of a draw in soccer means that, unless there’s a huge gap in quality, there is almost always a plus sign on both sides. In this case, it seems as if oddsmakers are being a bit too generous to the hosts.

Eintracht Frankfurt has emerged as a dark horse force in European competitions over the last few years. Nevertheless, they’re no match for Napoli.

Gli Azzurri have been the most impressive side in this year’s Champions League competition. They’ve scored the most goals of any team (20 in six games) and averaged a goal every 27 minutes — an astonishingly good tally. They’ve boat-raced good teams (4-1 vs. Liverpool, 6-1 at Ajax) and their only loss in the group stage was a meaningless game at Anfield on the final matchday.

This good form hasn’t been limited to international competitions either. Napoli sits atop Serie A with a 15 — yes, 15— point lead over its next so-called title challenger, Inter Milan. Luciano Spalletti’s side is on fire. If FC Koln can find the back of the net three times against Frankfurt, there’s no telling what the Italian giants can do on their day.

GOALS GALORE IN THE NHL

The play: NHL, Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild OVER 6 goals

The odds: -105

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8 p.m. (ESPN+)

Our take: The Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild have been two of the NHL’s most fun teams to watch thus far this season. One thing that’s almost guaranteed when these two teams play is goals.

Although each team has found success as a whole — they’re on 71 and 65 points respectively — their stats stand out when compared to other heavyweights on the ice. Whereas teams like Colorado Avalanche (67 points), Seattle Kraken (70) and Vegas Golden Knights (72) have similar point tallies, their goal differentials are much higher with totals like +18, +19 and +27. Los Angeles and Minnesota are each conceding goals at an alarming rate and have tallies of +3 and +6 on the season.

The Kings haven’t scored less than four goals in a month … and that was a game that finished 5-3 against the Nashville Predators. They’ve played just one game in that span (10 games) that’s seen less than six goals. The Wild may not be as good on the attack, but their track record this season suggests they’ll likely contribute to the goal fest that’s bound to take place at the Xcel Energy Center tonight.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Monday’s best bets

  • NCAA: Duke -18 over Louisville (LOST)
  • NCAA: Illinois -15 over Minnesota (LOST)

Monday’s record: 0-2

Total for the week: 0-2

Total for February: 16-22

Total for 2023: 41-56

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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