Cubs-Pirates, solid starter vs. bullpen; NFL preseason: Best Bets for August 24

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Chicago Cubs' Seiya Suzuki bats against the Detroit Tigers in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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 Thursday, Aug. 24:

TOP PLAY

The play: MLB, Cubs over Pirates

The odds: -168

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: It’s getting down to crunch time for the Chicago Cubs, who find themselves in a division (and wild card) race for the first time in three years.

In the midst of a stretch of schedule which they should be able to take advantage of, they get a team in the Pirates which they have been very successful against. In 2023, Chicago is 6-0 against their National League Central rivals this year and 36-18 against them since the start of the 2020 season.

In this one, the Cubs have their ace, Justin Steele, going against what should end up being a bullpen game for the Buccos.

Seems like an awful lot of value at basically 1.5-1 for a team that has been playing great baseball with their ace on the hill.

NFL PRESEASON FINALE

The play: NFL preseason, Steelers -4.5 over Falcons

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: So far, both of these teams have taken preseason about as seriously as any team usually does these days, and frankly, the Steelers are a better team.

Looks like Kenny Pickett should play a bit, as well as backup Mason Rudolph, which gives Pittsburgh a fair advantage. Meanwhile, word is that Atlanta will not play their starters very much (if at all) here.

The Steelers (2-0) have outscored their opponents 54-32 so far throughout their two exhibitions, and that gap should widen after Thursday night.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Wednesday’s best bets

Tour Championship: Viktor Hovland to win without Scottie Scheffler (PENDING)

Tour Championship: Jon Rahm to finish in the top 5 (PENDING)

Wednesday’s record: 0-0, 2 pending

Total for the week: 2-2, 2 pending

Total for August: 17-29, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 191-223, 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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