Getting to 3-2 became somewhat difficult after Kofi Cockburn’s concussion kept him out of action at Maryland, but fortunately, my hockey parlay was enough to do the job. The win on the ice, combined with Illinois State hitting the gas and the Raptors doing the exact opposite meant that I managed to come out with a victory for the day. Remember, what matters is that you get there, not necessarily how.
Today might be an interesting journey as well, because we have playoff football, hockey and a ton of basketball available. Unfortunately, the NFL’s gifts from wild card weekend are now gone, so we’re going to have to be smart and lucky to make some money here. Here are my best bets for January 22.
SABRES ML, +120
The Sabres are poor, but Buffalo isn’t playing terribly at the moment and has won three of its past five. That makes the Sabres worth a shot at plus money on home ice against a Flyers team that has lost 10 straight and appears to be in full quit mode at this point in the season. Philadelphia only had five players show up for an optional skate Friday, which says this is a team that does not want to be here. Against that, you have to take plus money.
TITANS -4, -110
The Bengals really shouldn’t be in this spot. If Las Vegas had been able to finish off its drives instead of settling for Daniel Carlson field goals, the Bengals aren’t in this spot. They managed to make it, but they’re now facing a rested Titans squad that features Derrick Henry and will likely run all over Cincinnati’s weak run defense. Joe Burrow is likely to keep the game close for a while, but the Bengals just aren’t going to get the stops they need to cover here.
SOUTH CAROLINA -10, -110
Georgia basketball is really awful, and the Bulldogs’ misery is only likely to continue in Columbia. Georgia has lost 10 straight to South Carolina, and four of the Gamecocks’ past five wins over the Dawgs have been by 15 or more. The Gamecocks make a lot of mistakes with turnovers, but they play good defense and should pound Georgia’s stop unit.
SOUTHERN UTAH -16.5, -110
Southern Utah is really good at getting rebounds. Idaho State is really not. The Thunderbirds have played pretty solid basketball at home and are usually a good bet to get their score into the high 70s. I might also play TTO 76.5 for Southern Utah, but Idaho State’s slow pace means that might be a challenge. I think there’s a much better chance that the T-Birds cover this number, considering four of Idaho State’s past five road defeats have come by 20 or more.
IUPUI TTU 55, -120
IUPUI has the worst offense in Division I and plays at a very slow pace. Northern Kentucky’s 3-point defense is not horrible, which means the Jaguars should find themselves again scoring well less than expected. IUPUI has failed to top this number in eight of its past 10, and I think there’s a good chance that happens again.
TENNESSEE -5.5, -110
No Xavier Pinson in the lineup against Tennessee’s turnover-heavy defense means that the Bayou Bengals are going to have a hard time getting points. LSU might have won the first game at full strength, but the Vols are unbeaten in Knoxville and the Tigers are likely to struggle to avoid turnovers here.
SUNS -12, -110
Give the Pacers credit: they’re still fighting and just beat the Lakers and Warriors on back-to-back nights on the road, the latter as a 16-point underdog. But they also just hosted Phoenix and lost by 18, and the Suns should be excited to get back in their building after winning six straight on the road. Phoenix looks a good bet to cover here.