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Wild Card Wednesday: Best Bets for January 19

The end of the run was going to come at some point, and with no Kliff Kingsbury to save me on Tuesday, it came in a set of bizarre circumstances. Jacksonville’s defense is one of the best in the country at the mid-major level, but the Dolphins got their doors blown off by Liberty. Mississippi seemed like a solid play against Missouri, given that the Tigers hadn’t come within 20 points of anyone on the road, but the Rebels shot 30 percent and got creamed. And then we had Iowa State scoring 16 points in five minutes against Texas Tech after scoring 44 in the first 35.

Add it up, and I can thank my addition of Brighton for allowing me to avoid a disastrous day on Tuesday. A soccer draw can save an entire day if you hit it, and that’s exactly what happened for me yesterday. Hopefully, I won’t have to resort to that again today; here are my best bets for Jan. 19.


Sometimes, you just have to take a chance, and this seems like a chance worth taking. The Foxes have won three straight Premier League matches at home and Spurs really haven’t been that effective against good opponents. Tottenham has just one win away against a side that’s outside the drop zone, and that was back in August. Leicester getting +210 at the King Power is too enticing to pass up.

ILLINOIS STATE +11.5, -120

This seems too many points. These teams tend to play close games, as 10 of the past 12 matchups between the Redbirds and the Bears have been decided by 10 points or less. Illinois State can be a tricky team to bet because the Redbirds are dependent on the 3-ball, but Missouri State doesn’t defend the deep shot well, and Illinois State has covered in six straight games. This one looks like a solid play.

RUTGERS +2.5, -110

Iowa on the road is not an appealing prospect, especially having to go to Rutgers. Piscataway is proving a tough place to play as usual, and the Scarlet Knights have already managed to best Purdue at home this season. This is not an easy trip for the Hawkeyes, and they tend to lose a game or two on the road that they shouldn’t every year. Rutgers and the points makes sense.


Wake Forest has to have this game to avoid taking a bad loss, and the Deacons actually play pretty solid defense. Georgia Tech’s offense looks like something that was killed crossing the street on most nights, so I don’t see the Jackets getting in the 70s in this situation. If the Yellow Jackets do win, it’s going to be a low-scoring affair, not the shootout that this total projects.


Colgate shoots the 3-pointer pretty well. Bucknell really can’t stop anybody, but the Bison do have Andrew Funk on the perimeter. As long as he’s getting open and hitting his shots, the Bison can put up points with anyone. Colgate doesn’t run as much as it did last year, but the Raiders should be able to get points against Bucknell’s weak defense.


Loyola keeps winning at home (7-0 this year), so I’m going to ride this horse until it dies. The Greyhounds are looking like they might be the best in the Patriot League, so I’ll back them for plus money in Baltimore, especially against a Boston University squad that they’ve already beaten once.

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