Today's sports betting picks: Why the Orioles will beat the Cubs, plus more MLB and NFL Preseason best bets for Thursday

The SportsLine crew shares its expert bets for Thursday, August 18, on The Early Edge podcast
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Host Allan Bell is joined by sports betting experts Allie O'Neill and John Bollman on The Early Edge podcast. They give you their best bets for MLB and NFL Preseason for Thursday, August 18.

John starts off by breaking down the Yankees' slide, and he says that a lack of motivation, injuries and several players slumping at the same time have all contributed to their struggles. They have a 10-game lead in the AL East, so they aren't losing any ground. The bullpen, which has been a major strength, has been short-handed lately, so he is waiting to see where they are at this time next month.

Allan then offers up two SportsLine Plays of the Day, and the first is an NFL pick on the Bears vs. Seahawks (8 p.m. ET) NFL Preseason matchup. Allan advises that you keep your units small, as it's still a preseason game, but Chicago QB Justin Fields should play a fair amount Thursday night. Backup Trevor Siemian led two TD drives in the Bears' opener, and the defense has looked strong.

The site's second play is an MLB pick, and it's the Dodgers -115 against the Brewers (2:10 p.m. ET). Los Angeles is winning in 65 percent of the simulations from the SportsLine Projection Model.

Allie also has an MLB pick, taking the Cardinals -1.5 (-105) against the Rockies (1:15 p.m. ET). St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright has pitched well at home, O'Neill says, and the Rockies are countering with Antonio Senzatela , who is 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA on the road. "I really think that the Cardinals are going to get it done in the early game," Allie says.

John has two moneyline picks on MLB, and his first is the Red Sox -160 against the Pirates (7:05 p.m. ET). Bollman likes the pitching matchup, as rookie Josh Winckowski could be on the mound for Boston against Pittsburgh's JT Brubaker. He also says Boston has the bullpen advantage, as an 8-3 win in Pittsburgh on Wednesday allowed the arms to rest. "It seems like the Red Sox have finally figured it out," Bollman says. "The series gainst the Yankees kind of jump-started them."

The Jeweler comes in at the end of the show to offer up that Caesars is showing Nathan Eovaldi as the starter for Boston and the line at -155. Bollman says he actually likes that play better, with bookmakers and the public basing their decisions on Eovaldi's season numbers. The expert says the right-hander has been pitching very well lately, so it's a value play in this situation, as well. 

His second MLB play is the Orioles -160 against the Cubs (3:05 p.m. ET). "The Orioles have been on fire lately," John says, and they are 18-6 at home over the past two months. They also were able to rest some key players Wednesday who should be back this afternoon. Chicago starter Adrian Sampson doesn't pitch deep into games, and "that's a big problem for a Cubs bullpen that it extremely worked lately."           

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SportsLine Staff