Women’s World Cup double selection, UFC 291 underdog play: Best Bets for July 29

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Jamaica's Deneisha Blackwood, top, celebrates with her teammates after the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between France and Jamaica at the Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, July 23, 2023. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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 29:

TOP PLAY

The play: Women’s World Cup, Jamaica money line over Panama

The odds: -150

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8:30 a.m. (Fox)

Our take: Group F was touted as a top-heavy group that was supposed to see Brazil and France tough it out for the top spot. However, Jamaica threw a wrench in that narrative immediately. The Reggae Girlz picked up a point on matchday one thanks to a phenomenal defensive showing against France.

Les Bleues take on Brazil this evening, and depending on how that contest plays out, Jamaica could be top of the group with one match to go. People slept on the Reggae Girlz coming into this one, the line (-140) tells us that isn’t the case any longer after their 0-0 draw with the European Championship semifinalists.

Panama, meanwhile, has played three matches in the last 30 days. Las Canaleras have lost those games by an aggregate score of 16-0 to Spain, Japan and Brazil. Panama’s team simply looks too inexperienced to compete with the mature heavyweights in this group.

As long as Jamaica puts on a performance on par with last Sunday’s, it should be able to overpower its young foes.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CHALK

The play: Women’s World Cup, Sweden money line over Italy

The odds: -115

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 3:30 a.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Our take: Sweden has not looked particularly sharp as of late. Nevertheless, it overcame some struggles against South Africa in the opening match to win 2-1. The Blue and Yellow will now look to make it two-out-of-two in a bout against Italy for sole possession of first place in Group G.

Sweden is the third-rated team in the world, according to the FIFA Women’s Ranking. Therefore, -111 can be considered an excellent value given the recent forms of both teams. The Swedes have lost just three times in their last 15 matches, whereas the Italians have lost five of their last 10.

It might not be pretty but we’re rocking with the battle-tested Sweden side over the No. 16 ranked side.

BONUS BET IN LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT AT UFC 291

The play: UFC 291, Alex Pereira to defeat Jan Blachowicz

The odds: -106

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 11:30 p.m. (ESPN+ Pay Per View)

Our take: We’ve got a bonus bet for you on this fine Saturday and it takes place nearly 24 hours after the Women’s World Cup plays we suggested above. Therefore, if you don’t get those tickets in before kickoff, you’ve still got a chance to win to start off your weekend.

Alex Pereira has minimal experience in the UFC compared to his competitor, Jan Blachowicz. However, the Polish fighter is now 40 years old and he’s not as active on the UFC front anymore. He’s struggled with injuries and honestly, this isn’t a great opponent for him stylistically.

As long as Pereira is able to fend off Blachowicz’s ground game — which will be minimal as Blachowicz doesn’t have enough gas in the tank to grapple for long periods of time nowadays — he should be able to outlast his opponent. That is if the Brazilian kickboxer doesn’t TKO Blachowicz beforehand.

Pereira has faced much tougher competition in Israel Adesanya recently … and won once. Blachowicz is now coming up against the pupil of the last man to beat him, Glover Teixeira. I really don’t like this matchup for the Polish legend, and I really like Pereira at -105 odds. Get them while you can.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Friday’s best bets

Women’s World Cup: China-Haiti OVER 2.5 goals (LOST)

Women’s World Cup: Denmark-England UNDER 2.5 goals (WON)

3M Open: Cameron Young to finish in the top 20 (LOST)

Friday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 3-7

Total for July: 21-29

Total for 2023: 171-192

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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