I don’t really have anything insightful to say after yesterday’s craziness. We saw one of the best games of all time between the Bills and Chiefs (and the overtime rules really need to be changed) and we almost saw the Bucs pull off an epic comeback against the Rams. And, to top it all off, I managed to get back to almost even on my picks, going 2-2-1 after the Rams and UTSA came through for me.
We’re back to a standard weekday schedule today, so we’re going to try to get some momentum back to start the week. Here are my best bets for January 24.
BRUINS/AVALANCHE ML PARLAY, -115
If the Ducks could play on the road, they’d be leading the Pacific Division. As it is, they still sit third even if they haven’t played all that well outside Southern California. I don’t love their chances in Massachusetts, where the Bruins have won 14 of 22 this year. Nor do I trust the Blackhawks going to Denver against Colorado when the Avalanche are 17-3 on home ice (counting OT losses as losses). I also considered adding the Stars against the Flyers to get to +200, but after Dallas lost to Montreal, something tells me they’d just screw it up.
Winthrop has won eight in a row against High Point, meaning that High Point coach Tubby Smith (yes, that Tubby Smith) has never beaten the Eagles since taking over at his alma mater in 2018. His chances are better this year because Winthrop has an annoying habit of letting teams hang around before eking out a win, but the Eagles shoot the ball so well that I think they’ll hand the Panthers another frustrating defeat.
TEXAS TECH, +220
And here’s your curveball, as I’m actually backing the Red Raiders to get a win in Lawrence, where Texas Tech is 1-20 all-time. But here’s the thing: the Red Raiders already played Kansas in Lubbock without two of their three best players and won comfortably, and they did it by pounding Kansas on the glass. Rebounding should travel when shooting doesn’t, as should defense. Texas Tech plays defense so well that this is worth the gamble. I’d feel much safer with the 7 points, but this can happen.
NORTHERN ARIZONA, -140
Flagstaff is where you want to start a road trip, not where you want to finish it. The elevation here is 7,000 feet, which makes playing in the Walkup Skydome a nightmare for visiting teams, especially when they’re not used to elevation like Sac State. The Hornets are playing their third road game in five days, and with how Big Sky teams travel, they had to go from Moscow, Idaho to Spokane, fly into Phoenix and bus up the hill into Flagstaff. That’s draining, and it should give the Lumberjacks a big edge. So should their rebounding.
EASTERN WASHINGTON, -225
Any time I get the chance to fade Idaho State against a decent team, I’m going to do it. Eastern has won on four of its past five trips to Pocatello and 10 of 13 overall against the Bengals. Idaho State has shown a little more fight in recent weeks, but the Bengals still can’t stop offenses and the Eagles move the ball pretty well. Eastern should get out with a win.