After a night full of MLS action and Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the NFL returns to our TVs on Thursday night. This Jaguars-Dolphins matchup won’t be a preview of the AFC Championship Game, but football is football. Who doesn’t like football?
We also have Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Nuggets and Lakers on tap, as well as a few games across Major League Baseball as the regular season winds down. BetOnline is once again offering odds boosts on a few different sports, so let’s break it all down!
MLB: Astros, Brewers, and Dodgers ALL To Win (+410)
The Astros still haven’t locked up a playoff berth after losing two of three games in Seattle earlier this week. Houston will look to get the job done this weekend in Arlington. The Rangers, who have the worst record in the American League, will have one of their few good pitchers on the mound in Thursday’s series opener. Lance Lynn will toe the rubber for the Rangers opposite Astros rookie right-hander Christian Javier.
Javier has enjoyed a solid rookie campaign overall. While Lynn is clearly the superior pitcher, Houston is a slight -118 road favorite. The Rangers have had one of the weakest offenses in baseball all year long, and the Astros are desperately looking to nab one of the AL’s last playoff spots.
Mariners stave off playoff elimination, claim rare series win vs. Astros
The Brewers will hit the road to take on the Cardinals in St. Louis. Both teams are still chasing postseason berths of their own in the National League. The Brewers will have young right-hander Corbin Burnes on the mound, while the Cardinals will counter with lefty Kwang Hyun Kim.
Burnes has a strikeout rate over 37 percent this season, and he has quietly been among the most impressive young pitchers in the league. Kim doesn’t miss many bats, and he’s a lefty facing a Brewers lineup with no shortage of right-handed power. Milwaukee has been a disappointment this season, but the Brew Crew are still understandable -143 moneyline favorites on Thursday night.
The Dodgers don’t have anything to play for at this point, but they will have one of their aces on the hill tonight. Walker Buehler will be making his first start in a couple of weeks after going on the injured list due to a blister. LA is a massive -209 favorite at home against an A’s team featuring veteran righty Mike Fiers.
NFL: Jaguars To Win AND Over 48.5 Points (+260)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are listed as three-point favorites at home over the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. This won’t be the most highly-anticipated game of the year, but a close spread means we should get a pretty competitive game.
Most expected Jacksonville to be tanking this season, but they’re awfully close to being 2-0.
They upset the Colts at home in Week 1 before nearly doing the same in Nashville against the Titans last week. The Dolphins are winless, after a close Week 1 loss to the Patriots followed by a defeat at home last week to Buffalo.
72 percent of the bets have come in on the Jaguars to cover the spread tonight, along with 86 percent of the money. 75 percent of wagers and 91 percent of the money placed on the over/under has come in on the over. The over has hit in both of Jacksonville’s games this season, while the Dolphins are 1-1 over/under.
NFL: James Robinson To Score First Touchdown (+800)
“To score first” props tend to be tricky because a lot of it depends on which team gets the ball first. The Jaguars are favored in this game, which helps, and James Robinson has been the team’s bell-cow back since the release of Leonard Fournette before the season. Robinson played 68 percent of the team’s snaps in Week 1 when they were playing with a lead for most of the game against Indy, while he logged 51 percent of the snaps last week in a close game against Tennessee.
James Robinson caps off a 14-play, 89-yard drive with a 17-yard TD! #DUUUVAL
The rookie has averaged an impressive 5.1 yards per carry so far this year. The Dolphins, meanwhile, rank dead-last in football in terms of DVOA against the run through two weeks. It’s a great matchup for Robinson, and the +800 odds on him to score first offer an awful lot of profit potential.
NBA: Lakers To Win AND Over 214.5 Points (+300)
The Lakers were clobbered by the Nuggets in Game 3, and Denver will have a chance to even the series at 2-2 tonight. Were it not for an Anthony Davis buzzer-beater in Game 2, the Nuggets would actually be in the driver’s seat. Regardless, oddsmakers still favor the Lakers. Los Angeles is a six-point favorite in a game with a 214.5 over/under.
51 percent of the bets are coming on the Lakers, while a whopping 73 percent of the money is on LA. Including playoffs, the Lakers are 5-2 against the Nuggets so far this season.
What’s The Best Bet?
Over/under betting in the NBA playoffs has been tricky. Scoring has been down in general this postseason, and as a result I have generally been staying away from these over bets. Add in the potential for the Nuggets to even the series tonight and I’m not seeing a ton of value on the NBA odds boost at +300. Pass on this once again.
James Robinson to score the first touchdown in Jaguars-Dolphins is a pretty plausible outcome. Jacksonville is the home favorite, and the Dolphins have been the NFL’s most porous run defense through the first couple of games. The risk here is obvious, but that +800 payout is incredibly attractive.
I’m not super confident in the Jaguars’ chances to win this game, though. While they have exceeded expectations through two games, this is still expected to be one of the worst, if not the worst team in the NFL in 2020. Miami isn’t a team with much better expectations, but there’s a reason the spread is this close. It’s too early in the year to suggest that the Jags are better than expected, so I’ll be avoiding the Jags to win plus the over on 48.5 at +260.
The MLB bet is interesting. I like the Dodgers and Brewers quite a bit tonight, so it really comes down to whether the Astros can put runs on the board against Lance Lynn. Houston has struggled mightily with the bats of late, and Lynn has quietly been one of the better pitchers in baseball this season. The Astros are still favored on the moneyline, though, and it’s not like the Rangers’ offense has been lighting things up, either.
If you want a safe option, bet the MLB odds boost with the Astros, Brewers, and Dodgers all to win at +410. You’re getting solid bang for your buck there. If you want even more upside, I don’t mind a low-dollar flier on Robinson to find the end zone first in the Thursday Night Football game at +800.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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