NFL first half play in Jets-Panthers and an EPL total pick: Best Bets for Aug. 12

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson rolls out during the first half of the team's Hall of Fame NFL football preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

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 Friday, August 11:


The play: NFL, New York Jets first half +2.5 at Carolina Panthers

The odds: -105

The book: DraftKings Sportsbook

Time/TV: 4 p.m. (NFL Network)

Our take: The Carolina Panthers are expected to give most of their starters a possession or two in the first half of this game. This explains why Frank Reich’s team is a 3.5-point favorite over a team with one game already under its belt. However, as we learned in C.J. Stroud’s opening possessions with the Houston Texans, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for rookie signal callers.

Meanwhile, Zach Wilson will start on the other side. Although Wilson is widely considered a sub-par starting quarterback in the NFL, he’s a superb backup. Players like Wilson — along with the Jets’ numerous running backs not named Breece Hall — can help keep things close in the first half of this contest.

I’m staying away from making any four-quarter predictions in the preseason because anything can happen when fourth-stringers and reserves get into the game. However, as far as the first half is concerned, I believe New York has enough experience and talent to keep it closer than oddsmakers project.


The play: EPL, West Ham-Bournemouth OVER 2.5 goals

The odds: -122

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 10 a.m. (Peacock)

Our take: The relegation battle in the Premier League always looms large, especially for those who got dragged down into the scrap last season. While both Bournemouth and West Ham were able to survive the drop in 2022/23, they’ll be looking to avoid the conversation altogether in the 2023/24 campaign.

What’s the best way to do this? Start the season off on the right foot.

We’re going to avoid predicting the result between these two mid-table teams. Instead, we like over 2.5 total goals. Both teams possess some exciting attacking talent that saw the two fixtures combine for six goals last season. Further, eight of the last 12 meetings between the two have seen three or more goals scored, which is enough evidence to suggest the over is a smart play here.


Friday’s best bets

MLB: Houston Astros -1.5 vs. Los Angeles Angels (WON)

EPL: Manchester City -1.5 at Burnley (WON)

EPL: Haaland to record a shot on target in each half (LOST)

Friday’s record: 2-1

Total for the week: 4-5, 2 pending

Total for August: 10-13, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 184-207, 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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