Community Shield and USA-Sweden picks on a soccer Sunday: Best Bets for August 6

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United States' Lindsey Horan, left, celebrates with United States' Sophia Smith after scoring her side's 3rd goal during the Women's World Cup Group E soccer match between the United States and Vietnam at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, July 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Cornaga)

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 Sunday, Aug. 6:

TOP PLAY

The play: English Community Shield, Manchester City money line over Arsenal

The odds/bet: -130

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 11 a.m. (ESPN+)

Our take: It’s the start of a new season in the English top flight. While the Premier League doesn’t start until late next week, its top two teams from 2022 square off for a piece of insignificant silverware on Sunday. It’s the treble winner (Manchester City) versus the Premier League runner-up (Arsenal) in the 2023 FA Community Shield.

The Citizens got the best of their so-called little brothers twice last season. They notably snatched the title from under the Gunners’ noses after Arsenal sat atop the table for much of the season. While Mikel Arteta’s side is extremely talented, it still has a long way to go to reach the heights of Pep Guardiola’s well-oiled machine on the blue side of Manchester.

Guardiola seldom loses cup finals, and for lack of a better term, that’s what this match is in the grand scheme of things. Man City has a better and more healthy squad, especially with Gabriel Jesus missing out through injury for Arsenal. We’ll back the treble winners to get the win and start the season off strong.

BACKING THE U.S. TO BEAT SWEDEN

The play: Women’s World Cup, USA to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0

The odds: +270

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 5 a.m. (Fox)

Our take: The United States has failed to impress at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup thus far. The Stars and Stripes finished as the runners-up to The Netherlands after a goalless draw against Portugal on the final matchday of the group stages. Now, all eyes are on Vlatko Andonovski’s squad as it takes on Sweden in the Round of 16.

The U.S. has its work cut out for it against a stubborn side as it’ll be without the chief creative force in midfield, Rose Lavelle. Nevertheless, the Blue and Yellow have consistently struggled against the biggest names in the sport since the turn of the year. Sweden failed to score against both Denmark and Germany prior to the World Cup and it also drew with Norway.

Don’t let the Blue and Yellow’s dominance in a weak group fool you, this team is beatable. The Stars and Stripes also have one of the best defenses — if not the best — in this tournament. There’s safety in picking the U.S. to win by a number of different scores at FanDuel while also banking on it to keep a clean sheet.

SWEDEN-USA GOALSCORER PLAY

The play: Women’s World Cup, Sophia Smith anytime goalscorer

The odds: +240

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: This won’t be the first game in Australia that Andonovski and Co. will be game-planning without perhaps their best player in Lavelle. When the midfielder was absent from the starting XI against Vietnam, the manager turned to young forward Sophia Smith to get the job done up front.

Smith pulled all of the strings in that match as the was the creative force that lifted the U.S. to victory with her brace. The 22-year-old has gone quiet since then, but she’s poised to have a breakout performance against Sweden.

Smith’s combination of speed and skill makes her a threat to the Blue and Yellow’s back line. Her versatility and link-up play with Alex Morgan will allow her to get in behind the defense — thus getting great looks on goal — while the aforementioned striker occupies the centerbacks.

The young forward is crucial to the United States’ play in the final third. Seeing as she’s already found the back of the net twice in this tournament, there’s some decent value here at +240.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Saturday’s best bets

MLB: Astros money line over Yankees (LOST)

EFL Championship: Watford money line over QPR (WON)

Saturday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 7-4, 2 pending

Total for August: 5-4, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 179-198, 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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