Fading public in Pelicans-Blazers and PGA special: Best Bets for Wednesday (March 1)

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Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little goes to the basket between New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III (25) and guard CJ McCollum (3) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. The Trail Blazers won 106-95. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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 Wednesday, March 1:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA, Pelicans money line over Trail Blazers

The odds: +100

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 10:10 p.m. (Bally Sports)

Our take: Throughout the course of our daily best bets, we have had a recurring theme when we feel like we’re in a must-win: Fade the public and take a side that makes absolutely no sense.

There have been few lines this season which have smelled more than this one. The Pelicans have lost four in a row and find themselves in serious danger of becoming irrelevant the final month-plus of the season. Although Portland lost on Tuesday night at Golden State, they are four days removed from a 17-point victory over lowly Houston, in which Damian Lillard scored a whopping 71 points.

Here’s the deal: New Orleans is either going to snap out of this NOW, or they’re going to turn this once highly promising season into a disaster. Even without Zion Williamson, Larry Nance and Jose Alvarado, this is a talented team playing an opponent it is one-half game ahead of in the NBA’s Western Conference standings.

If Monday at home vs. the Magic wasn’t a must-win, this one is. And with the vast public all over the Blazers, it seems like a perfect time to jump on the Pels’ slow-rolling bandwagon.

Oh, and CJ McCollum is 2-1 vs. his old team, averaging 20.3 points, nearly 5 rebounds and 6 assists per game.

TOP 10 PLAY AT BAY HILL

The play: PGA, Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, Will Zalatoris to finish in the top 10

The odds: +230

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: Thursday through Sunday on Golf Network and ESPN+ with primary weekend coverage on NBC.

Our take: In one of the tougher non-majors on the PGA Tour, this one is not often won by someone outside of the top 20 or so.

In looking for a value, the top 10 is going to be littered with players who not only are steady in most categories in who can avoid disaster but one who also has fared well as of late and has played well at Bay Hill.

Following a comeback from back trouble, Zalatoris has been strategic about where he has played, and he has only been in one tournament in the past four weeks. In that one tournament, he finished fourth at the Genesis Open two weeks ago.

Here at Bay Hill, despite finishing 36th last year, he was 10th the season before that. Seems to be poised to make a run this weekend, and we like the value at more than 2-to-1 to make the top 10.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Tuesday’s best bets

NBA: Nets +6.5 over Bucks (LOST)

NBA parlay: Nuggets -10.5 over Rockets and Jazz -10 over Spurs (LOST)

Tuesday’s record: 0-2

Total for the week: 0-4

Final record for February: 23-30

Total for 2023: 32-40

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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