Picking an Orioles-Cubs winner, playing the under at the CWS: Best Bets for June 17

Baltimore Orioles' Ramon Urias, right, slides past Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya into home base to score during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 16, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

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 Saturday, June 17:


The play: MLB, Baltimore Orioles over Chicago Cubs

The odds/bet: +120 ($25 to win $30)

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 2:20 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: The Baltimore Orioles with a plus sign next to their name? Yes, please! The Orioles have been one of the best teams in Major League Baseball (43-26) during the first half of the season. However, Baltimore was demolished by the Chicago Cubs on Friday night, 10-3, to open up the weekend series.

Why am I rolling with a team that just got curb-stomped on the road? It’s simple, I believe there is a bit of — for lack of a better term — divine intervention in the game of baseball.

I’d be willing to bet if you poll a majority of avid fans at Wrigley Field today, they’d be expecting a Cubs loss. Not because they’re pessimists who support an average ball team, but because fans always seem to believe their squad is destined for a loss the day after scoring 10 runs.

I am also an avid subscriber to this theory, which is why I love the Orioles in this spot. Kyle Gibson (8-3, 3.90 ERA) is on the bump for Baltimore too. While his numbers aren’t as great as his counterpart, Justin Steele (6-2, 2.65 ERA), the Orioles’ offense is a lot more consistent as a whole.


The play: College World Series, LSU-Tennessee UNDER 9.5 runs

The odds/bet: -132 ($13.20 to win $10)

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

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

Our take: I know, I know. If you ride with us every day and regularly read our Best Bets columns, you’ll know we encountered a bad beat yesterday in the College World Series.

Under 10.5 total runs was our play for Florida-Virginia. After the two teams combined to score once in the first six innings, they lit the scoreboard up for 10 runs in the final three frames. It was frustrating, to say the least.

We’re back with another under play today, though.

LSU and Tennessee are two of the country’s best coming out of the Southeastern Conference to meet in Omaha. The Tigers have the 2023 Dick Howser Trophy winner, Paul Skenes, on the mound tonight. His opponent will be no pushover either as Tennessee is expected to send top prospect Chase Dollander out to counter the possible No. 1 pick.

The last time these two got together was on March 30 under the bright lights of Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Skenes’ side came out on top with a 5-2 win. Expect much of the same this evening as runs will be hard to come by with these two bonafide studs on the mound. Under 9.5 total runs seems to be the smart play here, despite both teams swinging the bats well as of late.


Friday’s best bets

CWS: Florida-Virginia UNDER 10½ runs (LOST)

MLB: Pirates over Brewers (LOST)

Friday’s record: 0-2

Total for the week: 4-4, 2 pending

Total for June: 13-17, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 133-151, 2 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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