An NBA primetime play and an English Premier League pick: Best Bets for March 5

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New York Knicks guard Trevor Keels (3) shoots against Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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, March 5:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA, New York Knicks +5 at Boston Celtics

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:40 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: We’re going to look to the NBA for our top play today. The New York Knicks travel to a Garden of the TD variety for tonight’s primetime showdown as they square off against the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are the early odds favorite (-5), but it’s the visitors that I like to cover in this contest.

The Knicks are the second-hottest team in the NBA right now. They’re riding an eight-game win streak that includes victories over some fellow playoff contenders — including tonight’s opponents. New York beat Boston in Madison Square Garden, 109-94, at the end of February.

The reason I like the Knicks to cover the spread — not necessarily win as underdogs — is because their offense has been explosive in recent weeks. They’re averaging 123.5 points per game during their eight-game unbeaten run, and if they keep the ball rolling in that department, they can hang with any team in “The Association.”

This game is going to be an absolute barn burner, must-see TV indeed.

ANFIELD AGONY AFTER DERBY DEFEAT?

The play: EPL, Manchester United money line over Liverpool

The odds: +190

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 11:30 a.m. (USA Network)

Our take: Liverpool has dominated the rivalry dubbed the “Northwest Derby” for the last few years. The Reds most notably drubbed their noisy neighbors in three consecutive games (4-2; 5-0; 4-0) from May 2021 to April 2022. However, Erik ten Hag’s appointment at Manchester United has turned the tables.

The Red Devils beat Liverpool in the reverse fixture earlier this season, 2-1, at Old Trafford. Even though both teams are on an identical run of form (3W, 1D, 1L) in their last five games, it’s ten Hag’s men that are flying high this season. They’re currently sat in third in the Premier League table and a victory over Barcelona midweek saw them advance in the Europa League. Man United is on cloud nine.

Meanwhile, there seems to be trouble in paradise at Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp is struggling to get his expensive new signings to mesh up top and the Reds are on the outside looking in at the Champions League places.

It seems like these two teams are operating on different wavelengths right now. Liverpool has struggled to score a ton of goals recently — which is kind of important to winning football matches — and Man United is scoring for fun. If the Red Devils want to remain in the discussion for a title race, they’ll need to leave Anfield with all three points. Marcus Rashford could be the difference-maker as another stellar performance would help lift Manchester United above its rivals.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Saturday’s best bets

NCAAB, Texas A&M -2 over Alabama (WON)

NBA, Cavaliers -13½ over Pistons (WON)

Saturday’s record: 2-0

Total for the week: 6-5, 1 pending

Total for March: 6-1, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 38-41, 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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