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A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 14 mins

A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More

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Cupid’s Big Day comes just two days after The Big Game. If you normally wait for the end of football season to begin making your plans for Valentine’s Day, you'll be lucky to get a dozen dandelions and a table for two at Taco Bell.

This Valentine’s Day comes after the longest and most-bet NFL season in history. It ended with Patrick Mahomes II earning his second Super Bowl ring in four years with a 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, there was little love for the officials, as the end of the game was stained by a controversial holding penalty on the Eagles defense.

Don't take our word for it . . .

Betting sites were enamored with the game’s outcome. Most carried at least 65% of their handle on the Eagles moneyline and spread. The over was a big win for the public, as was Travis Kelce scoring a TD. One better at Caesars Sportsbook was feeling the love after betting the over at halftime on a total of 62.5.

LOOKING AHEAD: Aaron Rodgers Next Team Odds

The One Day To Be In The Red

Those who weren’t lucky when it came to their Super Bowl NFL betting wagers can hope for a quick rebound Tuesday. Perhaps their special someone will come through with chocolate (in any form), flowers, a romantic dinner, or a winning NBA betting wager on Valentine’s Day evening.

While about 50 million bettors hoped to end Sunday in the black, everyone wants to land on red Tuesday. More than 100 million would-be bettors tried to place bets legally online in the US, according to data from GeoComply. That's a 25% lovers' leap from last year. More than 140,000 cheating hearts were denied the opportunity to wager because they were outside the geographic boundaries of their favorite books.

Even if you’re unlucky in love and will spend this evening with your favorite order for one from GrubHub, we are here to warm your hearts with 11 bets we love for the rest of 2023.

11 Bets We Love For The Rest Of 2023

For this list, we’re going chronologically. Starting on Sunday. Here are our projected winners for some of the biggest events and awards between now and the end of the year.

A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 1

2023 Daytona 500

OUR PICK: Tyler Reddick, +2000 at DraftKings ➜

BUZZ: The green flag drops for the Great American Race this upcoming Sunday afternoon just 2.5 miles from the World’s Greatest Beach. Kurt Busch stepped aside from Michael Jordan’s 23XI so that Reddick could have a full-time ride this season. He is a two-time Xfinity Series champ and made the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs in 2022 on points. Reddick also got his first Cup Series win last season. This is a solid price for one of the most talked-about up-and-coming stars on the circuit.


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A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 2

2023 NCAA Men’s Final Four Champion

OUR PICK: Alabama Crimson Tide, +850 at FanDuel ➜

BUZZ: Selection Sunday is just four Sundays away. Yikes! The Crimson Tide are unbeaten in the SEC and appear to be ready to make a long run into March - and April. Alabama will never be a "basketball school" but this year's version of the Tide stands poised to deliver the first-ever Division I basketball championship to Tuscaloosa.


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Wooden Award

OUR PICK: Zach Edey, Purdue Center, +1400 at DraftKings ➜

BUZZ: Zach Edey is a 7-foot-4 center from Canada who had the Boilermakers ranked No. 1 in the nation before a 64-58 road loss at Northwestern. Edey remains dominant and very hard to miss. He is averaging 31.6 minutes, 22.2 points and 13 rebounds over 25 games.


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RELATED: Wooden Award Betting Tips, Odds & Predictions

A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 3

2023 Masters

OUR PICK: Jon Rahm, +800 BetMGM ➜

BUZZ: Golf’s first major of the year will take place at Augusta National Golf Course from April 9. The real “tradition unlike any other” at the Masters is “betting.” Money has flowed back and forth among patrons in the gallery for decades. Betting on the Masters usually generates the biggest golf handle for the year at top legal betting apps.

The course and field are familiar to the most casual of bettors. This year, Jon Rahm is the early golf betting favorite. Even at such a lofty price, Rahm is the play here. The Masters field won't be affected by the LIV tour since Augusta makes its own rules. Rahm hits it long and straight. His best finish here is fourth. He's come close enough times to be ready to make the next step into his own green jacket.


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2023 Kentucky Derby

OUR PICK: Forte, +900 at Caesars Sportsbook ➜

BUZZ: The First Saturday in May once again belongs to horse racing. There will be 20 starting spots available in the 149th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby to be run on May 6, 2023. A total of 40 horses have earned qualifying points thus far for the big race. Forte is the first to qualify with 40 points, thanks to his two wins thus far. He took the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year and has topped this market since.


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A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 5

2023 NBA Finals

OUR PICK: Milwaukee Bucks, +550 BetMGM ➜

BUZZ: The Milwaukee Bucks saw their reign as champions end last spring thanks to a seven-game loss to the Celtics in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. Those Bucks were banged up and had to play Game 7 in Boston. The Bucks trail Boston by two games in the East this season. The Bucks have won 10 straight. They also got former Celtic Jae Crowder, who will give the Bucks what they were missing against Boston last year, and presumbly help them get past the likes of Phoenix, Denver or the LA Clippers in the Finals. A nice hedge here would be to back Dallas at +700 with BetMGM.

2023 NBA MVP

OUR PICK: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, +750 at DraftKings ➜

BUZZ: This category is stacked. Nikola Jokic is the strong favorite at -155, as he is averaging a triple-double this season: 24.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 10.1 assists. It will be hard for anyone to cop MVP honors over those stats. But the price on Giannis is solid and he could push the Bucks to the No. 1 overall seed. It's still early and we've seen significant movement in the market in the past.


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A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 8

2023 Stanley Cup Finals

OUR PICK: Boston Bruins, +450 at BetMGM ➜

BUZZ: If there is a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it will be played on June 24. This has the NHL betting season ending after the NBA Finals. So much for the NHL being "a winter sport." There are a few major dates coming up on the NHL calendar between now and then, most notably the March 3 trade deadline and the start of the playoffs around April 15.

The Boston Bruins set a record this season by reaching 80 points in 47 games, an NHL record. Boston has cooled of late, but the return of Jake DeBrusk and the addition of another blueliner on defense should be enough. The combination of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak are playoff-tested. The Bruins' goaltending has been spectacular and has the potential to solidify the Cup run. Carolina looms as a dangerous opponent in the East. But Boston would likely have home ice against any team from the West.

2023 World Series

A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 6

OUR PICK: Los Angeles Dodgers, +750 at PointsBet

BUZZ: Our senior Handicapper Adam Thompson leans toward the Los Angeles Dodgers to win it all this season. Any why not? The Dodgers are loaded. They won 111 games last season before losing to San Diego in the National League Divisional Series in 4 games. That's one reason why this price is such a value. In addition, the Padres added Xander Bogaerts this offseason as a free agent from the Red Sox. The Dodgers added Bogaerts' former Boston teammate, J.D. Martinez. Dave Roberts may have outsmarted himself in the postseason. But this season, it looks like the Dodgers are getting back to basics and working with a solid starting rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías and Noah Syndergaard.

2023 Heisman Trophy

A Bouquet of Bets We Love On Valentine’s Day: NBA Finals, World Series & More 7

OUR PICK: Sam Hartman, Notre Dame QB, +1500 at PointsBet

BUZZ: A quarterback from Notre Dame? No, we're not crazy. Hartman has the ability to put up astonishingly-high numbers for a solid contender that should win plenty of games. The top-tier players in this market could well negate each other and/or be overshadowed by the strong play of certain teams. This will be Hartman's sixth year and he posted a 159.4 QBR last season at Wake Forest. He could well approach 5,000 yards this time.

2023 College Football Playoff

OUR PICK: Georgia Bulldogs, +200 at FanDuel ➜

BUZZ: Three-Peat (c) anyone? This is a terrible price this far off the College Football Playoff. But Kirby Smart is working on a dynasty at Georgia. He's got a solid core of players coming back. The Bulldogs have won 33 of 34 games and won their second-straight title in January despite losing 15 players to the 2022 NFL draft. They don't rebuild in Athens these days, they simply reload.


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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.
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