Sometimes, you just don’t have a great feeling about what’s on the docket. That’s exactly how I felt yesterday, as something told me the day would be a bit weird when it came to betting. And with both the North Florida-Florida State game going over and two of my three parlays failing to hit, that’s exactly what occurred.
But the third parlay was the Big Sky…and there’s always a chance for me when I’m betting the Big Sky. Sure enough, my knowledge of my league came through for me yet again, as I cashed at +370 and made Thursday into a winner. This is why my No. 1 gambling tip is to get to know a league and make sure you know it better than the books do; it can save you when it looks like a bad gambling day is on the slate.
We don’t have a ton of action on the slate today, but there’s enough available to get five good picks in for Friday. Here are my best plays for January 21.
WATFORD-NORWICH CITY BTTS, -130
Not only have both teams scored in seven of Watford’s eight Premier League matches, but the Hornets have played 19 matches this season and have not once kept a clean sheet. That said, Norwich has lost five straight meetings with Watford, so if you want to get risky, pairing Watford to win and BTTS plays out at a solid +280, which I mentioned on our podcast. If you want to get really risky (I’m not playing this one), a 2-1 Watford win pays out at +750.
ILLINOIS -4.5, -110
The line keeps moving toward Maryland, but I don’t think that it should be. The Illini should be coming in ticked off after losing a classic to Purdue, and the Terrapins have basically hit the wall after a 1-6 start. They’ve also already shown they could not stop Kofi Cockburn, who grabbed 18 rebounds when the teams met in Champaign. The Illini look like an excellent play going to College Park.
ILLINOIS STATE TTO 69.5, -110
I don’t trust Illinois State much at all after the Redbirds got drilled by Missouri State earlier in the week, but Illinois State is a much better team in Normal than it is on the road. Evansville isn’t a good team anywhere and can’t stop the 3-pointer to save its life (the Purple Aces are second-worst in the nation at defending the deep ball). Against an Illinois State team that’s 28th in 3-point percentage, that’s a likely death sentence as long as the Redbirds don’t have an off night. I’ll bank on Illinois State to get to 70, which it has done in seven of 10 home games this year.
ISLANDERS/PANTHERS PARLAY, +110
The Coyotes have won two in a row, but that should come to an end here on Long Island. Arizona’s on its second game of this road swing, and the Islanders have won six of their past eight in their new building. I’ll throw in the Panthers because Vancouver has had both goaltenders and Bo Horvat test positive for COVID, which should make the Canucks fairly easy prey for a good Florida squad.
RAPTORS TTU 109, -110
The Raptors just are not scoring right now. Toronto hasn’t scored more than 105 points in any of its past six games and hasn’t hit 110 points in any of its three games against the Wizards this year. Washington plays to the style of its competition, so I expect the overall under to have a good chance to hit, but I really like the Raptors to go under their team total here.