NCAA men’s national championship pick, plus an MLB run total: Best bets for April 3

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San Diego State guard Lamont Butler (5) celebrates with teammates after he hit the winning basket against Florida Atlantic during the second half of a Final Four college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez)

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 Monday, April 3:

TOP PLAY

The play: NCAA Men’s National Championship: San Diego State (+7.5) over UConn

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: DraftKings Sportsbook

Time/TV: 9:20 p.m. (CBS)

Our take: The men’s national championship game typically has a very tight spread, but this season’s edition has UConn as a heavy favorite, as they’ve had a dominant tournament run.

The theme of the 2023 tournament though has been to expect the unexpected, so we’re banking on that trend continuing and will take the points with San Diego State, who was able to defeat No. 1-seeded Alabama and parlay that monumental upset into a national championship appearance.

While it will be tough for the Aztecs to cut down the nets, we feel like they’ll be able to at least keep things close enough to cover against the Huskies in what will likely be a low-scoring, defensive game unlike yesterday’s women’s national championship game.

BRAVES-CARDINALS TOTAL

The play: MLB, Braves at Cardinals over eight runs

The odds/bet: -120 ($12 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:45 p.m. (ESPN Plus)

Our take: Both the Braves and the Cardinals were expected to have some of the best lineups in MLB, and they’ve lived up to the hype so far in 2023.

Tonight’s matchup between the two NL powers presents an opportunity for them to continue their success with the bats considering that the pitching matchup of Charlie Morton against Jake Woodford is favorable.

Morton is getting up in age and has struggled against the Cardinals throughout his career, and Woodford doesn’t have much starting experience and will likely have trouble containing the surging Braves.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Sunday’s best bets

  • NCAA Women’s National Championship: Iowa-LSU UNDER 160 (LOST $33)
  • English Premier League: West Ham moneyline vs. Southampton (WON $10)
  • PGA Valero Texas Open, Si Woo Kim to finish in top 20 (LOST $30)

Sunday’s profit/loss: -$53 (1-2)

Final total for the week: -$122 (5-9)

Total for April: -$66 (1-3)

Total for 2023: -$99.10 (66-73)

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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