Sam Burns loves the Valspar; NCAA play-in special: Best Bets for Wednesday (March 15)

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Sam Burns hits out of a bunker on the 15th fairway during the third round of the Players Championship golf tournament Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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 15:

TOP PLAY

The play: PGA, Sam Burns to finish in the top 20 at the Valspar Open

The odds: -105

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: Thursday through Sunday on ESPN+, Golf Channel and weekend on NBC in the afternoons.

Our take: It has been quite a roller-coaster ride the past 12 months or so for the former LSU golfer. He won this same tournament last year then missed the cut at The Masters. He finished second at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, then missed the cut at the Byron Nelson before finishing 20th at the PGA and winning the Charles Schwab.

Even recently, he finished tied for 11th at The American Express in late January then tied for sixth in his next tournament – the Waste Management Open in Phoenix – and then missed the cut in back-to-back weeks.

But he loves this tournament at Innisbrook, finishing 12th in 2018, 30th in 2019 and winning it the past two years in a row.

It’s tough to pick a back-to-back-to-back winner, but we certainly think there’s value in thinking Burns – at even money – will finish in the top 20.

NCAA PLAY-IN VALUE

The play: NCAA Tournament, Arizona State -2.5 over Nevada

The odds: -104

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 9:10 p.m. (TruTV)

Our take: My first instinct was that the betting public would be on the Sun Devils and that this would be an auto-pick for the Wolf Pack. Then, as I dug, it seems as if it’s the complete opposite.

Not only does it seem Aunt Mabel likes Nevada, she likes them without any real reason. Instead, there seems to be value in Arizona State. Generally in these play-in games, the team that has played better as of late has the better fate.

The Wolf Pack (21-10) has been awful for most of the past month – losing the past three straight up and four of their last six. All three in their recent losing streak came as a favorite, including at -8½ against UNLV on March 4.

Arizona State (22-12) hasn’t been fantastic, but in their defense, in going 4-3 the past four weeks, two of those losses came to second-seeds Arizona and UCLA.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Tuesday’s best bets

NBA player prop: Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell over 27.5 total points and assists (WON)

NBA money line: Nuggets over Raptors (LOST)

Tuesday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 2-2

Total for March: 16-13

Total for 2023: 48-53

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.)

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