Heading across the pond for Navy-Notre Dame, EPL plays: Best Bets for August 26

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FILE - Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman looks on from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy on Nov. 12, 2022, in Baltimore. Freeman was named the head coach at Notre Dame last December and he has learned from early mistakes he made a year ago. No. 19 Notre Dame (8-4) must be better prepared to start and finish strong when the program faces No. 20 South Carolina (8-4) in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 30, 2022 (AP Photo/Terrance Williams, File)

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, Aug. 26:

TOP PLAY

The play: NCAAF, Navy +20.5 vs. Notre Dame

The odds: -104

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 2:30 p.m. (NBC)

Our take: It’s officially college football season and it’s hard to imagine a better kickoff contest than the Notre Dame Fighting Irish playing against a historic rival in Dublin. There is a bit of weather expected in Ireland before kickoff, but the game should be fine to continue as scheduled.

The forecast has seen the total drop down to 49 points throughout the week. However, the spread has stayed the same. Notre Dame has held strong as a near-three touchdown favorite over the Navy Midshipmen. While the Fighting Irish have certainly improved since then and the Midshipmen have undergone a lot of changes, it doesn’t justify a 20.5-point spread.

Notre Dame is three touchdowns better than Navy in the grand scheme of things. However, service academies are getting a huge boost with the new college football clock rules (first downs don’t stop the clock unless under two minutes). The possessions will be down in games featuring the likes of Air Force, Army and Navy simply due to the tedious tempo at which they play the game.

These are two run-first offenses heading into the season with both head coaches being so-called defensive specialists. The Fighting Irish will win this game comfortably, I don’t see 21 points separating the sides though.

BEES TO BEAT EAGLES

The play: EPL, Brentford over Crystal Palace

The odds: +115

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

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

Our take: Brentford is without last season’s top goalscorer, Ivan Toney, until January as he’s seeing out the remainder of his betting suspension. Many pundits across the Premier League mediascape spent the summer speculating what it’d mean for the Bees’ chances after a historic 2022/23 campaign.

Two games into the new season and Thomas Frank’s side has passed all tests with flying colors. If anything, Brentford is working harder without its superstar striker and it is paying dividends thus far.

While the Bees have drawn their last four top-flight clashes with Crystal Palace, their tie with Tottenham and domination of Fulham shows they’re a class above Roy Hodgson’s side at the moment. Brentford will be back at home in front of a ruckus GTech Community Stadium, where it has lost just twice in the last calendar year. You can get the Bees at plus money — it feels like a no-brainer.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Friday’s best bets

MLB: Texas Rangers over Minnesota Twins (LOST)

NFL: Tennessee Titans over New England Patriots (WON)

Friday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 5-3, 2 pending

Total for August: 20-30, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 194-224, 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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