Once again, the Big Sky proves to be my friend, as Northern Colorado came up with a solid play against Pacific to earn the cover and give me a 3-2 result yesterday. We’re on to Thursday’s slate of games, which means a World Cup qualifying window as well as football, hockey and basketball, so we have plenty of options today. Here are my best bets for November 11.
FOOTBALL PARLAY: RAVENS-DOLPHINS O46.5, NORTH CAROLINA +7.5, PORTUGAL ML, +375
Like Ted Lasso, I’m combining both kinds of football here. If this were a single bet, I’d play Portugal and both to score, as Ireland has scored in three straight matches against the Portuguese. But I feel no need to risk that on a parlay, so I’ll just back Portugal to get a win that it needs to have in World Cup qualifying. The Ravens should have no problem scoring on the Dolphins, but I worry about Baltimore’s pass defense and its tendency to let teams hang around. As for the ACC matchup, every game North Carolina and Pittsburgh have played as ACC rivals has been decided by seven points or less. That’s a good reason to buy the point with the Heels.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PARLAY: VERMONT-NORTHERN IOWA U133, GEORGE WASHINGTON-MARYLAND O140, NORTHERN ARIZONA-WASHINGTON U138.5, +515
Northern Iowa’s going to shoot better than what it showed against Nicholls State, but these are still two slow-paced squads that are likely to produce more stops than points. That’s not the case with Maryland, as George Washington doesn’t play good defense and Fatts Russell is used to facing the Colonials after transferring from A-10 rival Rhode Island. The Terps should move it up and down the court, and the Colonials will do their part in scoring against a Maryland defense that had issues with Quinnipiac. Finally, Washington is bad and Northern Arizona is worse. These teams both played poorly on opening night, and it’s not likely to get better. Don’t stay up for this one; 65 will likely be a winning score.
NHL PARLAY: ISLANDERS ML, BLUES ML, SHARKS-JETS U6, +350
Against all better judgment, I’m going to bet a Winnipeg under. The Jets have played pretty decent defense as of late, and the under has cashed in five of six meetings against the Sharks. My friend Will Palaszczuk has told me many times how New Yorkers feel about New Jersey, but Islanders fans might be starting to like the place after winning four straight at the Rock against the Devils. Finally, Nashville’s on a back-to-back and has been on the road six straight games now. The Predators are going to have a tough time with St. Louis.