I really should play more hockey picks. I tend to stay away from it unless I have a good reason to play an NHL pick, but the Flames gave me one with their recent performances and came up with 62 shots on goal for a 6-0 win over the Blue Jackets last night, giving me a 3-2 mark for Wednesday.
I’m a bit worried going into parlay Thursday and a livestream, but we’ll see what happens with these plays. As long as the Big Sky is involved, I’ve got a chance. Here are my best plays for January 27.
EARLY EVENING PARLAY: WISCONSIN -7.5, EASTERN KENTUCKY-FLORIDA GULF COAST U154, JACKSONVILLE ML, +485
Fred Hoiberg probably has nightmares about Wisconsin basketball, given how the Badgers have dominated the Cornhuskers since he took over in Lincoln. Considering he’s 5-39 in the Big Ten, Hoiberg probably has nightmares about the entire league, but that’s beyond the point. The point is, Wisconsin has won five of its past six trips to Lincoln and the Badgers have won five of six meetings with Hoiberg by double digits. Coming off a loss to Michigan State, they should be focused.
Eastern Kentucky is the anti-Maine. People still think Maine can’t hit the Atlantic Ocean at 15 feet, not realizing the Black Bears have improved on offense. People still think Eastern Kentucky lights up scoreboards, ignoring that the Colonels have played under 13 out of 16 games and haven’t gone over since Dec. 4. Finally, Jacksonville is very good at home and Lipscomb forgets to play defense when it’s on the road. There’s real promise here.
NHL PARLAY: RANGERS ML, PENGUINS ML, DUCKS ML, +225
This is just a matter of playing matchups. Right now, Montreal, Philadelphia, Columbus and Seattle on the road are on my automatic fade list. Tonight we’ve got…Montreal hosting Anaheim, Seattle going to Pittsburgh and Columbus hosting the Rangers. If the NHL wants to make my life easy, I say let them.
Of course, I owe you a bit more analysis than that, so here we go. Montreal has lost 16 of its past 18 games (and one of the two was Philadelphia), Seattle has one win away from home since Thanksgiving (and the Penguins are 17-2 in their past 19) and Columbus has lost three straight at home and just gave up 62 shots in a 6-0 loss to Calgary. I like my chances.
BIG SKY PARLAY: SACRAMENTO STATE -6.5, IDAHO +13.5, SOUTHERN UTAH-PORTLAND STATE O147.5, +595
If you’re going to keep giving me these prices with Idaho State, I’m going to keep fading the Bengals. Idaho State is 0-10 away from Pocatello and has just two road covers: Southern Utah taking its foot off the gas and Cal-Santa Barbara shooting 1-for-11 from deep. The Hornets are playing decent basketball right now and should be fine in the Nest. Montana’s weak 3-point defense is starting to hurt it with bettors, and Idaho has been much better at covering the number than people think. Southern Utah has been speeding up everyone, and Portland State scored 76 in Cedar City. These teams can hit this number.