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Saturday Slate: Best Bets for January 15

Once again, we managed to go 3-2 on Friday, which is all I’m trying to do. If you keep going 3-2 on a consistent basis, you’re going to end up making money, and that’s the goal here.

Some of those plays were a lot better than others, as Davidson-Richmond going over was a layup (and a heck of game as well), while Virginia Commonwealth’s lack of offense meant I really should have played total instead of trusting the Rams. But all of this is a learning experience, win or lose, and it’s always better to learn with a few extra units in your bankroll.

With that said, we have wild card Saturday and college basketball happening, so we’ve got plenty available. Here are my plays for January 15.


The Cardinals have been exposed and are not playing particularly well, but the Panthers are down one of their best shooters from the first meeting, as Ithiel Horton had criminal charges refiled against him and will not play until his hearing on Jan. 26. These teams put up 147 points in a game I covered, but that was also marred by multiple technical fouls and tight whistles. I don’t see that happening again here.

SYRACUSE -2.5, -110

Florida State’s play on the road has been frankly embarrassing this season, yet the Seminoles are only getting 2.5 points going up to the Carrier Dome to face a Syracuse team that already came to Tallahassee and won by 3. The Orange have covered in three straight games, and Florida State hasn’t shown an ability to stop 3-point shooting teams. I like Syracuse here.


You need to know about this Jacksonville defense, because the Dolphins have been one of the most effective mid-majors at denying good looks. Jacksonville only gives up 54.7 points per game, and although part of that is because the Dolphins have played a weak schedule, North Florida isn’t exactly lighting up scoreboards this year. The Birds of Trey these Ospreys are not, and this game looks like it’ll be a struggle to get to 60 each.

BENGALS -6, -110

The Raiders’ luck is going to run out eventually. They got here by winning four straight against the Chargers, Browns, Colts and Broncos, and the nicest thing you can say about any of those teams is that Los Angeles is inconsistent. Cincinnati has the passing attack needed to attack the Raiders’ weaknesses, and I like their chances in a high-scoring game.


Give Bill Belichick this much time to prepare, and it’s likely to be a low-scoring contest. The Patriots are a tough team to trust on offense right now, but cold weather is likely to mean a lower-scoring game, which is how these teams play each other anyway. I’m tempted to take New England TTU 20.5 and might play both, but this holds the better value in my opinion.

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