After a crazy Sunday and a large number of football fans and bettors rooting for a Raiders-Chargers tie that didn’t come, the world now turns its attention to college football’s biggest stage. On the plus side, there’s no questions of motivation in this game as there was on Sunday. On the negative side of the ledger, that means there’s also not an obvious play (hello, New York Giants under) to pad our bank accounts.
But after a 4-2-1 day that came close to being an even better day (Jets missed by half a point, Youngstown State lost in overtime and Wisconsin pushed), I think I’ve got some momentum coming into tonight. Plus, it’s Moneyline Monday, usually a great day for my bets. Here are my best plays for January 10.
If I don’t get to the big game right away, nobody’s going to bother to read my lower-level basketball picks, except maybe Pace. But I’m backing both a trend here and the Dawgs’ defense: every time the championship game has been a rematch from earlier in the season, the team that lost the first game won the second game.
Plus, there’s no John Metchie this time and Georgia actually led the first game 10-0 before Alabama struck back to Jameson Williams. With Metchie out, Georgia can focus more on stopping the big play to Williams, and if the Bulldogs snuff that out, the Crimson Tide will have a tough time finding another answer.
I do not want to touch the Mountain Hawks on the spread, because these teams play close games. The past eight matchups between Lehigh and Holy Cross have all been decided by eight points or less, so I have no interest in giving the 6.5 with the Mountain Hawks. But all I need Lehigh to do is beat Holy Cross, and the Crusaders are both an awful basketball team and have lost five of their past six trips to South Mountain. I’ll back Lehigh to win in Bethlehem.
Bucknell is 0-8 on the road and is coming off an 18-point loss in Annapolis to Navy. Loyola is 5-0 at home and is coming off a win at Boston University. That gives you a pretty good idea of how this one might go. I might pair Loyola with Lehigh for an even-money Patriot League parlay; I feel good about the Greyhounds grabbing another win at home.
ALABAMA A&M, +105
There’s a trend in this series: Alabama A&M almost never beats Jackson State in Mississippi (the Bulldogs are 2-17 in their past 19 trips to Jackson State), but when A&M gets to host, the teams are about even. The teams tend to alternate wins in Normal, and Jackson State won the most recent meeting, so I feel good about backing the Bulldogs, especially given A&M’s edge on defense.
The Blueshirts have won four of their past five contests and the Kings have won three of four, but I’m more impressed with the Rangers than I am with Los Angeles. New York has played a fairly difficult schedule and only stumbled in Vegas, while the Kings weren’t exactly facing top teams in Detroit, Vancouver and Philadelphia. Getting the Rangers at plus money is worth a shot.