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Three-Play Thursday: Best Bets for January 13

Yesterday was a great example of why it’s often better to play each game individual instead of the parlay, as well as why parlays are so enticing. My first five plays on Wild Card Wednesday were all winners, and had I been playing all of them as a parlay, I’d have been on track to win $1,457 on a $10 bet if they’d won. But the story doesn’t end with a 7-0 mark, as Virginia Tech couldn’t snake out a win at Virginia and Cal collapsed in the final five minutes at Washington, leaving me with a 5-2 mark and up $45 for the day.

Could it have been better? Sure. But not playing the parlay meant that I ended up coming out $55 ahead of where I would have been. That’s a terrible segue heading into Parlay Day, but this is why you should only play parlays when you feel pretty confident about all parts of the matchup. If you’re seeing any red flags, just bet individually and try to go 2-1.

Remember, our goal is not to become millionaires. That would be wonderful if it happens, but our goal is to win more than we lose. Most days, my goal is 3-2, with anything higher seen as a bonus. On Parlay Day, if I go 1-2, I’m happy, because it means I made money. So let’s try to keep the good times rolling; here are my best plays for January 13.


Oakland looks like the best team in the league right now, and getting the Golden Grizzlies with a couple of points to play with looks like a solid move here, even against Cleveland State. Green Bay should smash a horrendous IUPUI squad, and although Wright State isn’t covering right now, the Raiders have won six in a row. I like them to get the win over Robert Morris and finish this off. If you really want to get risky, I might also add Youngstown State -3.5 over Northern Kentucky, as the Norse are on the road and just 1-10 ATS on the year.


Until further notice, I’m fading the Kraken on the road and the Canadiens no matter where the game is played. Montreal has lost 11 of its past 12 and should be meat in a Ziplock against the Blackhawks at the United Center, while Seattle is facing a St. Louis squad that has been excellent at home this season. That just leaves one more addition to make, and tonight, it’ll be a Boston team that’s won six of its past seven.


Lehigh and Bucknell both love to play fast, and Bucknell’s Andrew Funk is capable of lighting up the scoreboard against the Mountain Hawks’ weak 3-point defense. Navy has the much better defense in its matchup with Colgate, and with the Mids at home, I want defense over offense. Finally, Loyola remains undefeated in Baltimore this season, so I don’t need to bother with the spread.


I have to get my Big Sky play in here: Weber State and Idaho should produce a lot of points, so even though the total is high, over 159.5 is the play because Idaho cannot play any defense. Neither can Iowa, so backing the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers to go over 150.5 looks like a strong play here. Finally, I don’t see Oregon stopping UCLA’s guards, so I’d play the Bruins team total over 75.5. This could be an over parlay at +510, but as I can see some red flags, I’ll likely play individually.

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