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Five For Friday: Best Bets for September 24

Thanks to Appalachian State outthinking Marshall at the end, the football parlay didn’t work out, as the Mountaineers passed up the gimme touchdown with a 31-30 lead and got the win while failing to cover. That’s now twice a late play near the goal line has cost me on Thursday, but I can’t fault App State for it as much as I did Louisiana. The Mountaineers were trying to seal a win; the Cajuns were already up 28.

Bottom line: Parlays are darn hard to hit, which is why they should always be played with caution. We’re back to basics on Friday, with these five plays for September 24.


Yes, this is a lot of points. But here’s the thing: Virginia cannot run the ball. The Cavaliers aren’t Mississippi State, as they at least try to move the football on the ground, but they get almost all of their yardage through the air, ranking 110th in rushing yards. Wake Forest hasn’t yet been stopped, and Virginia just surrendered 59 points to North Carolina in a game that was a shootout from start to finish. This game looks like it’ll reach the 70s.


The Mets have mailed in the rest of the season at this point. They’re just 2-8 in their past 10 games, and the Brewers suddenly need this game. With the Cardinals now riding a 12-game winning streak, Milwaukee either has to sweep the Mets or get the job done on the road against St. Louis or the Dodgers, hardly an appealing prospect. Expect them to come out strong here.

UNLV U14.5, -120

The Runnin’ Rebels don’t do much running and they don’t do much throwing. UNLV has scored 13 points in two games against FBS competition, and things are not likely to get any better against Fresno State. The Bulldogs are for real and should have no problem coasting past the punchless Rebels, so either this or the spread seem like good options.


When a bad team is throwing a bullpen game, that’s prime over territory. Pittsburgh plans to go with Sam Howard as an opener, and Howard hasn’t thrown more than 30 pitches in any of his past 10 appearances. Expect the Phillies to provide some fireworks in this one.


Seattle is playing like its playoff future is on the line, because it is. The Mariners are still in the race for the wild card and have a realistic shot at the postseason because Boston and the Yankees are playing each other, giving Seattle a chance if it can get the job done against the Angels. Los Angeles did pick up a win last time out, but the Mariners should be in good shape here.

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