The problem with parlays is that when you read one game wrong, the entire thing is useless. Case in point: I read Bears-Lions and Bills-Saints perfectly, but the Cowboys never got control against schizophrenic Las Vegas and fell in overtime. The Raiders are basically a “do not bet” the rest of the way, because I can’t figure them out. My early morning play should have worked, but San Diego couldn’t hold a seven-point halftime lead, causing that to fall apart.
We’re back to single-game bets today, so I like my chances a lot better. Here are my plays for November 26.
EAST CAROLINA CFB +14.5, -120
Cincinnati does not like going to Greenville and will be delighted to say goodbye to this trip when it leaves for the Big 12. The Bearcats have won five straight visits to East Carolina, but in the American era, every Cincinnati trip to Greenville has either been decided by less than a touchdown or won by East Carolina. I think I’ll need the extra half-point here, but I can’t see Cincinnati making this uncompetitive. East Carolina is good enough to hang around for three quarters before fading late.
ARKANSAS CFB -14.5, -110
Arkansas badly wants to get the edge on Missouri after the Tigers have won the Battle Line Rivalry five straight times, and I think the Razorbacks are good enough to do it and earn the cover. It helps that Missouri already secured bowl eligibility last week by beating Florida, making this game a nice-to-have for the Tigers instead of a must-win. Arkansas will feel that it’s a must-win if only to get this rivalry going in its direction again, and that should make the difference.
UCF TTO 40.5, -110
South Florida’s defense can’t really get stops, giving up at least 40 in each of its past three games. Central Florida isn’t going to hold anything back against its rival in the War on I-4, as the Knights would love to finish the year in style by hanging another 40-pointer on the Bulls. South Florida has been getting better as of late, but the Bulls just aren’t in the Knights’ class right now.
KANSAS CBB -16, -110
Truth be told, I was going to be backing the Jayhawks today regardless of the opponent being Dayton or Miami. This is not the Flyers of two years ago, who would have been a No. 1 seed had the tournament been played out. This is a middling squad that already has a 19-point loss to Lipscomb at home on the resume. If the Bisons can do that to Dayton, I think Kansas can cover 16, especially now that the Jayhawks are past a criminally underrated North Texas.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE-MISSISSIPPI O147.5, -110
There’s a rule when it comes to betting Mississippi Valley State basketball: if the total is even remotely reachable, always bet the over. The Delta Devils rank dead last in defense per KenPom, but they also play at the sixth-fastest tempo in the country. They rank dead last in offense too, but they put up so many shots that they can still do their share of the lifting. St. John’s dropped 119 on Mississippi Valley State, and Ole Miss should welcome the chance to get out and run against an overmatched foe. Mississippi might come close to this number by itself…and I’m only half-kidding there.