Who says July is a slow time in the sports world? The Rangers are giving fans plenty of reason for excitement coming out of the All-Star break, and Dallas fans are now getting our full dose of Cowboys drama with the franchise tag extension deadline here.
And of course, sports drama means prime opportunities for sports bettors to find our favorite spots to wager and cash in.
Here are the top Dallas sports betting picks for Monday, July 17 from the Sport DFW Editors.
Best Bets: July 17, 2023
Jason Schandl: Tony Pollard leads the NFL in rushing
The best time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets, right? The Cowboys may not be getting a long-term deal done with Tony Pollard today, but I don’t think this ends in a holdout. There are simply too many elite running backs in tricky contract situations, and players at the position are going to start to realize they don’t have the leverage they think they do.
And if Pollard’s not back next year? All the more reason for the Cowboys to be willing to give him a massive workload with little regard for his long-term career outlook. We’ve seen first-hand how quickly elite RBs can fall off, but it’s not like we need to be concerned about whether Pollard lives up to whatever deal he may sign elsewhere next offseason.
Last year the concern was whether Pollard could continue his amazing efficiency as a 5-yard-per-carry kind of guy when he was getting an RB1 workload, and he absolutely erased those concerns. Pollard was one of only four running backs to eclipse 1,000 yards with an average above 5.0 per carry.
The Cowboys are looking even more dangerous this season, with what might be the best defense in the league, and that means plenty of opportunities to grind it out with the running game while playing with a lead, and that means plenty of opportunities for Pollard to set a new career-high in carries.
Would I say he’s the No. 1 pick to lead the league? Probably not, but with an 18-to-1 payout there’s just too much value to ignore, especially considering a couple of the players in front of him have contract concerns as well. Once Pollard’s officially not holding out, you’re going to see those odds shift dramatically.
Isaiah De Los Santos: West Group B In-Season Tournament Winner (+330 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Though free agency has been relatively quiet for the Dallas Mavericks, buzz is heating up. Just over the past couple of days, the likes of Bojan Bogdanovic, P.J. Washington and Clint Capela have been linked to the Mavs in trade rumors.
Furthermore, there’s murmurs that Kelly Oubre Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr. are possible targets for Mark Cuban and company after the initial wave of free agency.
All of that is to say, this team is actively looking to get better and create a more well-rounded roster that complements Luka Doncic. A third scorer/sharpshooting threat like Bogdanovic or Oubre would ensure this offense doesn’t underperform once again. A proven big like Capela, meanwhile, would provide a strong presence in the paint and form a rangy defensive duo with Grant Williams.
And for all the rumors we’ve heard, there’s sure to be many potential moves we haven’t gotten a sniff of yet. That’s an exciting thought, especially with Dallas’ array of assets at its disposal.
The Mavericks’ potential to make a big acquisition in the coming days or weeks is one fans should capitalize on in the futures market. After the NBA just recently announced the groups for the upcoming In-Season Tournament, I think it’s worth sprinkling some money on the Mavs to win West Group B.
The LA Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans have major injury questions, and the Houston Rockets will be in the lottery hunt by that point. That leaves the defending champion Denver Nuggets as Dallas’ biggest competition, but a big-name center or forward addition would suddenly make things much more interesting.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel have this bet available, but you're getting value taking it on FanDuel, where it's +330 instead of +300.
Tyler Maher: Tampa Bay Rays moneyline
Monday night features a battle of two first-place teams when the Rangers (55-39) host the Tampa Bay Rays (60-36) at Globe Life Park.
The Rays have seen their lead in the AL East dwindle to just one game over the Baltimore Orioles after losing eight of their last 11 games. Their slumping offense has been the main reason for their recent swoon, as they’re averaging just 3.73 runs per game in July.
The Rangers, on the other hand, have a bit more breathing room after sweeping the Cleveland Guardians over the weekend, giving Texas a three-game edge over the Houston Astros in the AL West standings. With the Astros off today, the Rangers will try to gain another half-game in the standings with their fourth straight win.
Texas will send Dane Dunning to the hill to face Shane McClanahan. Dunning is enjoying the best year of his career so far, going 8-2 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP through 92 innings. However, his 3.83 FIP indicates that some regression may be on the horizon.
McClanahan, on the other hand, is a bona fide ace. The two-time All-Star leads MLB with 11 wins and a 2.53 ERA, making him a top AL Cy Young contender.
As good as Dunning’s been this year, it’s hard to see him outdueling McClanahan. He’s also in a challenging spot against Tampa Bay’s potent offense, which ranks fourth in MLB with 5.42 runs per game.
It hurts to pick against Rangers at home, but take the Rays to win what should be a low-scoring affair.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.