UFC 290 winner pick and an MLS money line play: Best Bets for July 8

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Alexander Volkanovski celebrates during a news conference for the UFC 290 Mixed Martial arts event Thursday, July 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. Volkanovski is scheduled to fight Yair Rodriguez in a featherweight championship bout Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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, July 8:

TOP PLAY

The play: UFC 290, Alexander Volkanovski to win by points

The odds: +135

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 12:30 a.m. on Sunday (ESPN+ PPV)

Our take: We’re looking to the main event of the evening for our first of two best bets tonight. The first play we like is the current Featherweight Champion, Alexander Volkanovski, to defend his belt against one of the class’ top challengers in Yair Rodriguez.

Volkanovski is an overwhelming -375 money line favorite to retain his title. This is why we’re looking to predict the method of victory in UFC 290’s main event.

The Australian has successfully defended his belt three times since taking it away from Max Holloway in 2019. He’s lost just once in his UFC career, his last time out, when he moved up a weight class to challenge Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev and lost via decision.

Overall, seven of Volkanovski’s last 10 fights have gone the distance and he’s picked up six wins via points in that span. Rodriguez’s last loss came against Holloway — an opponent the champion has beaten three times in the last four years — which tells us everything we need to know. We’ll ride with Volkanovski to retain his title and win via decision.

MLS PLUS JUICE MONEY LINE PICK

The play: MLS, Houston Dynamo money line over Sporting Kansas City

The odds: +105

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. (Apple TV+)

Our take: For those new to the wonderful world of soccer betting, plus juice does not always signify an underdog. Matches can end in one of three ways with either team winning or the sides playing out a draw after 90 minutes. Therefore, you’ll rarely find a heavily juiced favorite in a regular-season match.

The Houston Dynamo are as close as teams usually come to being big favorites, though, in this contest. The Western Conference playoff contender is a +114 money line favorite. Houston will be playing in front of a home crowd at Shell Energy Stadium, which already gives the Dynamo a huge advantage.

Factor in the reality that Houston beat Sporting Kansas City once already this year (1-0 on May 10) — despite picking up a 35′ red card and playing over half the match down a man — and this pick is relatively straightforward. The Houston Dynamo have shown us they are a more consistent team than Sporting Kansas City this season.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Friday’s best bets

• MLB: Braves money line over Rays (WON)

• MLB: Tigers money line over Blue Jays (LOST)

Friday’s profit/loss: $20 (1-1)

Total for the week: $0 (4-6)

Total for July: +$40 (7-6)

Total for 2023: -$308.75 (157-168)

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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