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The Daily Sweat: Thursday night football returns, highlighted by Utah-Florida

No offense to NFL preseason games, but Thursday night football returns this week.

For just about every Thursday the rest of the season, there will be college and pro games. The college slate this week isn't even that great, but it doesn't matter.

The highlight of the 11 games featuring at least one FBS team on Thursday is Florida at Utah. The Utes, the only ranked team in action on Thursday, are 4.5-point favorites at BetMGM.

The lines have changed a lot from where they opened. Utah opened as a 9-point favorite in May and that went up to 9.5 shortly after. It was that way through mid-July. Utah standout quarterback Cam Rising is unlikely to play due to an ACL injury he suffered in last season's Rose Bowl, and that's the biggest reason the line has been on the move.

It says something about Florida that a Utah team without its star quarterback is still favored by more than a field goal.

The total has moved way more than the spread. It opened at 60.5 and soon after moved to 56.5. It has been on the way down ever since and sits at 44 on Thursday. That's a rare 16.5-point move in a total.

There are a couple other games on Thursday that are mildly interesting. NC State is a 14-point favorite at UConn. Minnesota hosts Nebraska and is favored by a touchdown. The quality of the games doesn't even matter. It's just good to see games that count on the schedule.

Utah running back Ja'Quinden Jackson (3) scores a touchdown in last season's Rose Bowl. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, FIle)
Utah running back Ja'Quinden Jackson (3) scores a touchdown in last season's Rose Bowl. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, FIle)

Here is the first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:

Braves-Dodgers highlights small MLB schedule

There are only four games in baseball on Thursday, but one game matches up the two World Series favorites.

The Atlanta Braves take on the Los Angeles Dodgers to start a big series. The Braves lead the Dodgers by four games for the best record in the National League, but Los Angeles has been hot lately. The Braves are a -140 road favorite with Cy Young contender Spencer Strider on the mound.

What's the best bet?

While this should probably be a football bet, I can't pass up the chance to take the Dodgers as a home underdog. According to TeamRankings.com, the Dodgers have been home dogs just twice all season. LA is 0-2 in that spot, but I don't think it happens again. The Braves are great, but the Dodgers have a ridiculous 24-4 record in August. I'll take the Dodgers.