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Saturday Slate: Best Bets for January 8

The best way to sum up my Friday was that the Big East came through for me, Navy missed one shot too many and Monchengladbach just seems to have that special something whenever it comes up against Bayern Munich. If you didn’t listen to our podcast yet, I decided to take a shot in the dark on Borussia Monchengladbach against the Bundesliga leaders and nailed it, as the Foals made it four straight results against Bayern at +650. When the trends take you one way, sometimes, you just have to roll with it.

So yeah, Friday was a pretty good day, as my main picks went 3-2 and my soccer dart actually cashed. Can we keep it going? Here are my best bets for January 8.


N.C. State has been just awful against the spread this year, going just 4-11 ATS. The Wolfpack don’t defend the 3-pointer well, and that’s a recipe for disaster against Clemson, which leads the ACC in 3-point percentage. Given my luck with taking good-shooting teams and fading bad ones (see Montana State, New Hampshire, Eastern Washington), Clemson will probably come out and shoot 15 percent from deep, but based on the numbers, it’s worth the gamble.


If North Carolina can’t beat Virginia this year, it’s fair to wonder when the Tar Heels are going to have success against the Cavaliers again. This is Tony Bennett’s weakest team in several years, but the Cavaliers have won seven straight against Carolina, including the past three at the Smith Center. I think that’s going to change here, mainly because of how well Carolina rebounds. The Heels should have enough to get by this time.


Mississippi State hasn’t played anyone on the road this season, and yet the Bulldogs are favored against their biggest rival in a building where they’ve dropped seven of their past nine? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, even with a less-than-great Mississippi squad. The Rebels play defense pretty well, and Mississippi State hasn’t faced a hostile crowd yet this season. This is worth a try.


The national championship game should be interesting, and I think the hook is going to result in a few too many points for the Bobcats to allow North Dakota State to get the cover. I’m not picking against NDSU winning the title, but I do think Montana State can keep it to a one-score game. Both teams play great defense, so I like a low-scoring battle here decided by four or five points.


Pittsburgh has made it 10 in a row, and until I see a reason not to trust the Penguins, I’m going to back them. I think there’s a good chance they take down Dallas and make it 11, and that’s where I want to be in this one. I might even make this a Pittsburgh parlay and pair the Penguins with Pitt basketball, as I think Boston College will be too rusty to compete here.

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