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Wild Card Wednesday: Best Bets for December 29

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Today’s picks are coming out later than normal, because I had a couple high school basketball assignments this morning and couldn’t get to my picks until the games were over. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of late action happening today for Wild Card Wednesday, and we’re actually coming off a 3-2 Tuesday, as Air Force, Minnesota and Houston all came through for us on the numbers.

Mississippi State’s got some explaining to do, but that’s for another time. Here are my top plays for December 29.


Clemson’s struggles on offense are well documented, and that was against the ACC, which proved to be a fairly weak league this season. The Tigers were mediocre at best with the ball, and the Cyclones are going to be playing without Breece Hall, which makes the task even tougher against a tough Clemson defense. The Tigers were an under team throughout the year, and that should hold again.


Oklahoma, on the other hand, shouldn’t have much trouble scoring against an Oregon team that has likely given up on the season. The Ducks were listless against Utah with a Rose Bowl bid on the line, so how motivated do you think they’re going to be when they’re playing in the Alamo Bowl? Answer: Probably not very. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is playing under Bob Stoops, which has to be a thrill for the Sooner players who know what he built in Norman. The Sooners should put up plenty of points on the turf in San Antonio.

KENTUCKY CBK -20.5, -110

The last time we saw Missouri, Kofi Cockburn went for 25 points and 14 rebounds in an 88-63 Illinois win. So what do you think is going to happen when the Tigers go up against Oscar Tshiebwe in Lexington? Answer: Probably nothing good for anyone in black and gold. Throw in that Missouri has lost its past four games played outside of Columbia by an average of 26.5, and you can see where this one is likely headed.


Here’s how bad the Eastern Illinois offense has been this season: The Panthers have played 11 games against Division I competition, and this bet would have hit eight times, including each of the past six. Only Northwestern (56), Central Michigan (61) and Albany (62) have allowed the Panthers to top 55 points, and I don’t see that changing against a decent Morehead State team. The Eagles should roll at both ends of the floor.


Western can’t defend and neither can Iowa. These teams both love to play fast and both teams put up a lot of points in a hurry. This game could be approaching NBA numbers when all is said and done; I think these teams can zoom past this high total.


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