Each day, one of our experts at bet.NOLA.com will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks in Louisiana are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.
A reminder for those who haven’t signed up yet: New users can get a risk-free bet at Caesars Sportsbook, meaning that if your first bet loses, you get a bonus bet for the same amount up to $1,250. New users also get 1,000 Caesars Rewards points to redeem for hotel or casino credit.
Here are our best bets for Saturday, March 4:
The play: Men’s college basketball, Texas A&M -2 over Alabama
The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)
The book: BetMGM
Time/TV: 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Our take: Ever since the news broke last week that Alabama’s star freshman, Brandon Miller, brought the gun to the scene of a shooting in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide has been in a deep funk. Miller, for his part, has played just fine, but the team has gotten off to poor starts in three straight games, and though Alabama came back to win all three, they haven’t come close to covering.
Jim Derry and I disagreed about what the Tide’s huge comeback to beat rival Auburn in overtime means about Alabama’s mindset, but I still say this team is clearly affected by all of the off-court distractions.
Now comes their toughest challenge in a while, a trip to the SEC’s second-place team in Texas A&M. The Aggies aren’t who you want to play if your focus is waning; they are a bruising defensive team that hasn’t lost at home in conference play. In fact, after a rough go of it in non-conference play, A&M has been playing like a top-10 team for much of the past two months.
Alabama also played a pressure-packed, emotional overtime game just three days ago. This is shaping up perfectly for the Aggies.
SUN BELT UPSET
The play: NBA, Cavaliers -13½ over Pistons
The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)
The book: BetMGM
Time/TV: 6:30 p.m. (NBA League Pass)
Our take: We lost yesterday’s NBA best bet by the hook when the Knicks let a 15-point halftime lead turn into just a 2-point win, but we’re back off the mat and ready to try again.
This is a huge number for an NBA game, but these teams played in Cleveland last month, and the Cavs won by 28. So it’s not that big. And consider that those Knicks are starting to breathe down Cleveland’s neck for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, while Detroit is essentially in Wobble for Wemby mode, happy to increase their lottery chances for French sensation Victor Wembanyama, the presumptive No. 1 pick.
The Cavs have been struggling against a tough schedule of late, so this will be a welcome respite. Expect a one-sided evening.
HOW WE’VE FARED
NBA: Knicks -2½ over Heat (LOST $30)
Men’s college basketball: Indiana State -2½ over Belmont (WON $10)
Friday’s profit/loss: -$20 (1-1)
Total for the week: -$35.50 (4-5, 1 pending)
Total for March: +$41.50 (4-1, 1 pending)
Total for 2023: -$91 (36-41, 1 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, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).