Premier League pick and an NFL preseason spread play: Best Bets for August 18

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Nottingham Forest's Anthony Elanga, right, celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest at Emirates stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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 18:

TOP PLAY

The play: EPL, Nottingham Forest money line vs. Sheffield United

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 2:45 p.m. (USA Network)

Our take: These are two teams who are already moving in opposite directions. Many have stated that they believe Nottingham Forest will stay up again when the 2023/24 Premier League campaign concludes. Meanwhile, a majority of neutrals have Sheffield United as a lock to go down.

Results on matchday one seemed to confirm these theories, although both suffered defeats. The Blades were beaten by another team touted to be in the relegation scrap, Crystal Palace, whereas the Reds were beaten by a title contender in Arsenal.

The reality of the situation is Nottingham Forest has a better manager, better players and it looked the better side on matchday one. There’s simply more quality — experience and talent — in Steve Cooper’s side than in Sheffield United’s ranks. These are games that teams looking to avoid the drop must pick up points in if they aim to stay up.

The Reds will be in front of a ruckus crowd at the City Ground too with new signings eager to impress. Expect Nottingham Forest to turn up and grab all three points at home on Friday afternoon.

NFL PRESEASON SPREAD PLAY

The play: NFL, Panthers at Giants UNDER 39.5 total points

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7 p.m. (NFL Network)

Our take: Sportsbooks didn’t have a single NFL game touching 40 total points in week one of the preseason. While this line hasn’t quite hit that point yet, it’s as close as an over/under can possibly come.

Preseason NFL totals being higher in week two isn’t a foreign concept as starters get more game time. However, in the Carolina Panthers’ case, the starters on offense got time last week when they were held scoreless by the New York Jets. The New York Giants didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard either in a 21-16 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Brian Daboll has yet to announce whether or not his starters will get any time at all in this contest — namely the big offensive names. Even if they do, it won’t be for long. These offenses looked stale last week, so there’s no real reason to believe they’ll ramp it up in week two. Under 39.5 points is a safe play here.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NFL: Browns money line over Eagles (PUSH)

MLB: Padres money line over Diamondbacks (LOST)

Thursday’s record: 0-1

Total for the week: 1-4, 2 pending

Total for August: 13-21, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 187-215, 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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