Odds and Bets: It’s finally time for the first full week of college football

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Aug 31, 2023

In Thursday's Odds and Bets, college football is back, the top team in the WNBA is on the hardwood and two of the best teams in baseball play the opener of a four-game series.

Today’s Sports Betting Picks – Thursday, August 31, 2023

Florida Gators at Utah Utes: The return of college football

The first full week of the college football season kicks off Thursday and the marquee matchup of the day is the 14th-ranked Utah Utes playing host to the Florida Gators. After falling 29-26 in Gainesville last season, can Utah get some revenge on Thursday?

The big question surrounding this game is the health of Utah quarterback Cameron Rising, who tore his ACL in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2. Rising is listed as doubtful and Utes coach Kyle Whittingham hasn’t given anything up on the game plan with Rising in or out of the lineup. Redshirt junior Bryson Barnes could split time with redshirt freshman Nate Johnson in place of Rising.

There’s too many questions at quarterback for Utah. This game smells like an early-season upset.

NCAAF best bet: Take the Gators on the moneyline (+176)

Florida @ Utah (Thursday, Aug 31 2023 8:00pm)

  • Florida -110 +5
  • Utah -110 -5

Mystics at Aces: Familiar foes

With a little over a week to go in the WNBA regular season, the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics will meet for the third and final time in Sin City. The teams met in Washington last Saturday, with the Mystics coming out on top over the league-leading Aces. Can Washington pull off the upset twice?

Las Vegas has the best record in the WNBA this season at 30-6 and they remain a -238 favourite to win a second straight title. At 17-18 on the season, the Mystics haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet but if the postseason started today they would have the fifth seed.

The Aces are in a rare middling slump, dropping their last two games and going 6-4 over their last 10. Washington is 5-5 across their last 10 games and come into Thursday looking for a third straight win.

There’s two trends that stick out here. First, Las Vegas is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight home games and second, the Mystics are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine road games. Combine that with Las Vegas looking for a revenge/playoff tuneup game and I think the Aces roll here.

WNBA best bet: Las Vegas covers as 10-point favourites (-110)

Washington Mystics @ Las Vegas Aces (Thursday, Aug 31 2023 10:05pm)

  • Washington Mystics -110 +10
  • Las Vegas Aces -110 -10

Braves at Dodgers: Cream of the crop in the National League

The NL East-leading Atlanta Braves come into Thursday’s series opener against the Dodgers with the best record in baseball at 87-45. Atlanta has a massive 13.5-game lead over Philadelphia in the division and will easily clinch a sixth consecutive NL East title. The Dodgers leads the NL West with an 83-49 record, 14.5 games ahead of second place San Francisco.

Spencer Strider gets the ball for the Braves on Thursday. Strider is 15-4 this season with a 3.46 ERA. The Dodgers will answer with Lance Lynn, who is 10-9 with a 5.56 ERA.

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. is riding a three-game hit streak and is currently 12th in the majors with 29 home runs. Acuna is hitting .333 with a double, a home run, a walk and five RBI over his last five games.

L.A.’s Mookie Betts is fifth in the majors with 36 home runs. Betts is also sixth in the majors with 94 RBI. Freddie Freeman leads the Dodgers with a .342 batting average and he is ninth in the majors with 89 RBI.

MLB best bet: Ronald Acuna Jr. Over 1.5 hits (+185)

MLB 2023 - Series Winner - Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves (4 games 01.09.-03.09.)

  • Atlanta +174
  • Draw +150
  • Los Angeles +239