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. 26:
The play: Carabao Cup final, Manchester United money line over Newcastle
The odds: +100
The book: FanDuel Sportsbook
Time/TV: 11:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
Our take: “There is something [called] football heritage.” Those were the words famously spoken by manager Jose Mourinho a few years during his tenure at Manchester United. One of the sport’s larger-than-life figures, Mourinho spoke about the squad he inherited upon his arrival and how that directly translates to success.
The reality is that Erik ten Hag walked into a far more favorable position than his opposing manager on the day, Eddie Howe, with world-class players across the pitch. Manchester United has a rich history filled with triumphs and trophies, all that’s been missing in recent seasons is a manager to light that fire underneath those sporting the badge. Newcastle — on the other hand — hasn’t lifted a domestic cup since the 1954/55 season.
The Magpies will be without star goalkeeper Nick Pope too, who got himself sent off via a rash red card decision last week that resulted in suspension. Back-up goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is cup-tied to his parent club (Man United, coincidentally), and that thrusts Loris Karius into the spotlight for another major cup final. What could possibly go wrong? See the 2018 Champions League final highlights for the answer to that question.
Ten Hag lifts his first piece of silverware as the manager of Manchester United, the Red Devils break Geordie hearts and we take advantage of some favorable odds in the process.
IRRESISTIBLE PLUS JUICE IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE
The play: English Premier League, Chelsea money line over Tottenham
The odds: +190
The book: FanDuel Sportsbook
Time/TV: 8:30 a.m. (USA Network)
Our take: Gabe, did you seriously just double-dip soccer for today’s best bets? It’s kind of my thing — sorry, Jim. While Jim Derry is busy shaking his head at me for picking not one, but two, soccer plays for today, Zach Ewing will also be left in disbelief with this pick.
Chelsea has been horrendous in the New Year. The Blues simply can’t score goals. Unfortunately, if you can’t put the ball into the back of the net, it makes it nearly impossible to win matches. What did the doctor order for Graham Potter’s squad amid these goalscoring struggles though? A trip to ‘Three-Point Lane’ (a.k.a. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium).
The West London side has dominated its noisy North London neighbors in this rivalry over the last few decades. The Chelsea players seem fired up after recent wake-up calls against Dortmund and Southampton too. While Graham Potter’s men have been poor as of late, the same core (led by Thomas Tuchel at the time) outplayed Spurs in their first meeting at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.
I’m going to back my Blues to pick up three points against Tottenham once again. Plus, there is tremendous value here at almost 2-to-1.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NCAAB: North Carolina -3 over Virginia (WON)
NCAAB: South Carolina +21 over Tennessee (LOST)
Saturday’s record: 1-1
Total for the week: 6-4, 1 PGA bet pending
Total for February: 22-24, 1 pending
Total for 2023: 47-58, 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).