It’s Thanksgiving Day, and there’s no NBA or NHL games to work with today. It’s almost like they actually consider this a holiday or something.
Luckily, college sports and the NFL aren’t calling today a holiday, so we’ve got plenty of options to bet on while you’re doing whatever it is you do for Thanksgiving. It’s time for a few parlays, so I’m going to see which contests I can cobble together to hopefully produce a winner or two. Here are my best bets for November 25.
MAGNOLIA PARLAY: MISSISSIPPI CFB ML, MISSISSIPPI STATE CBB -1, CAL-SAN DIEGO ML, +550
As I said on the podcast, I love the Egg Bowl. It has always held a special place in my heart, so I had to get it in a parlay. I think Mississippi is the better team, and I like them to win outright as a dog and get to 10 wins. Mississippi State basketball really shoots the 3 well, though, and I think they’ll have no problem with Louisville’s weak defense. The same logic holds for UC San Diego against Southern Mississippi (just because the games all involve Mississippi teams doesn’t mean I have to pick them all), as the Tritons are fifth in 3-point percentage and third in 3-point defense. Southern Miss ranks in the bottom 50 in both categories, so I like UC San Diego here.
NFL PARLAY: BEARS-LIONS U42, COWBOYS -7.5, BILLS -6.5, +610
You might just want to go play your own Thanksgiving football game while the Bears and Lions are on, because that’s probably going to feature a lot more action than what’s on television. These are weak offenses, and the Lions’ defense has actually played decent for most of the season. Dallas should be able to feast on Vegas’ poor run defense, and the Bills are in a good bounce-back spot in New Orleans. The Saints are down two running backs, which means they have to attack Buffalo’s second-ranked pass defense. That’s far from ideal for them to stay in the game.
EARLY MEAL PARLAY: NORTH TEXAS-KANSAS CBB U131, SAN DIEGO -3, FRESNO STATE-SAN JOSE STATE CFB U52.5, +580
First things first: Early meals are one of the most illogical things about Thanksgiving. If you eat “dinner” at 2 p.m., all you’ll do is ensure you’ll be hungry again at 9 p.m., when nothing is open and your options are zilch. Dinner should start no earlier than 6 p.m., even on holidays. But if you must, these three games will be your background. North Texas is a slow-paced squad, and Kansas will be perfectly happy to play a slow defensive battle on Day 1 of a three-day event in Orlando. San Diego leads the nation in 3-point percentage and should have enough to best South Alabama, and San Jose State’s offense might be more repulsive than marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes. That’s a travesty, as is an offense that averages 21 points per game.
NORMAL MEAL PARLAY: ALABAMA-IONA O147.5, RICHMOND ML, GEORGETOWN U60, +600
Georgetown is a mirage that got hot at the right time last year. The Hoyas still aren’t a good team, and San Diego State should clamp down on the Hoyas’ 3-point shooting. Alabama loves to push the tempo, and a Rick Pitino-led team should only be too happy to comply with that, given how much Pitino loves to run when he can. Finally, I’m not sold at all that Maryland is good. The Terrapins’ 3-point shooting is terrible to this point, and when you’re looking at a game that’s almost a coin flip, always back the better deep shooting team. Richmond’s hitting above 40 percent from deep, so I’ll gladly finish this parlay off with my mom’s Spiders.