Best Bets of the Weekend for All Sports | March 2-3

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
Best Bets of the Weekend - Gamble Online Michigan
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

Is the clock about to hit midnight on Messi Mania in MLS? Inter Miami faces its toughest challenge to date when they take on in-state rival Orlando City. We also look at the world of boxing where social media sensation Jake Paul is getting back in the ring, and just who wore the wrong gloves in NASCAR last week and why does that matter?

MLS: Orlando City vs. Inter Miami CF Best Bet

Orlando City ML (+330) at FanDuel

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that MLS is experiencing a huge surge in popularity with the great Lionel Messi playing for Inter Miami. Messi has been amazing in his short time with the Herons, who have three points after two games.

I hate to be the fly in the ointment, but the Herons still don’t look like a great overall team. Yet. Maybe they will get there, but take Messi off the pitch and they don’t have much zip.

Orlando City has emerged as one of the top clubs in MLS. They were second in the East last year with 63 points. They just brought in Colombia striker Luis Muriel from Serie A in Italy. He scores a goal every 105 minutes in his pro career. He’s only 32.

The game is Saturday at Inter Miami. So many casual fans believe Messi will just do it all - all the time. But research shows Orlando City is better.

Orlando City ML (+330) at FanDuel

Boxing: Jake Paul vs. Ryan Bourland Best Bet

Paul Victory in Third Round (+500) at BetMGM

Boxing is in a weird spot right now in the world of American sports. Jake Paul got his start as a YouTube star, someone society calls an “influencer” these days. The 27-year-old got into boxing, with plenty of money and support behind him, and you know what? He’s actually pretty good. He’s 7-1 in his official career, mostly against former MMA stars out of their element.

Bourland is a bit different in that he is/was a classically trained boxer. He was a Golden Gloves Champion, but he was sort or semi-retired at age 35 and a record of 17-2. He’s not expected to put up much of a fight against Paul Saturday night in Puerto Rico.

This week Paul revealed (online, natch) that he was dealing with an arm injury. This sounds like just some chatter to hype the fight. Bourland may be able to hang in there for a while, but this fight is all about Paul’s legion of followers and his eventual foray to MMA. It’ll be over quickly.

Paul Victory in Third Round (+500) at BetMGM

NASCAR: Pennzoil 400 Best Bet

Joey Logano Winner (+1100) at DraftKings

Just when you think you’ve heard it all in NASCAR, last week, Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Ford Team Penske car was penalized before the start of the race in Atlanta for wearing what was determined to be an illegal glove in qualifying.

The glove was deemed to provide an aerodynamic advantage to Logano, who qualified in the front row, but then had to go in the back of the pack. Somehow, Logano fought all the way through, led the race for 27 laps, before wrecking and finishing 23rd.

How much of an advantage can a glove be? Really?

Logano has had the fastest car at the last two NASCAR tracks, but has been unlucky - and last week, weirdly punished. He needs a good race in Las Vegas. He’s way back in 33rd in the Cup Series standings. He’s due for some good luck, and new gloves.

Joey Logano Winner (+1100) at DraftKings

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.