When I started working with the Kota Sports Gambling Network, I came up with the idea of giving different bets for different days of the week to give me something to tie all of my picks together. And for the the most part, I’ve stuck to the theme for the day. Occasionally, however, I go off theme when I see a play I like and think it needs to be on my card, such as a spread play on Tuesday or a total on Monday.
Turns out I should have stuck to my spreads for Sunday, because out of my five spread bets, the only one that didn’t cash was Morgan State (by two). Of the others, Saint Peter’s and the 49ers both landed the cover in a losing effort and the Bengals and Drake both won their game outright. Meanwhile, Northern Kentucky’s offense got hot, the United States gave up the early goal to Canada and rarely looked like getting the equalizer (despite Gregg Berhalter’s claims) and the Chiefs forgot how to score in the second half, costing me all three of those bets.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. All it means is we try again the next day. Here are my best plays for January 31.
NOTRE DAME, +185
Duke has been rather unimpressive away from home, and the Irish absolutely have to have this game. This is the kind of win that gets a team like Notre Dame off the bubble and into the field, and it’s the last shot the Irish have to really get a signature win. Winning at Florida State, Miami and Wake Forest would be nice, but none would move the needle the way a win over Duke would.
PENN STATE, +165
I covered Penn State’s game at Indiana on Wednesday, and the Nittany Lions were awful that night. But they’re not as bad as that performance suggested, and they’ve been a different team playing at University Park this season. Iowa’s not a great road team, and Penn State has been stewing for five days after its poor showing in Bloomington. This game is there for the Nittany Lions to win.
Vegas still doesn’t believe that Maine is improving. That’s fine; I’ll jump on the Black Bears again here. Maine gave a credible showing at Vermont in its most recent game, has covered in four of its past five and should be able to put in a solid performance against Hartford, which has looked pretty unimpressive away from home this season. I’ll probably take the points with Maine here (+6.5), but I think there’s a decent chance the Black Bears can win outright.
COPPIN STATE/WEBER STATE/SANTA CLARA PARLAY, -210
After three underdogs, sometimes you have to take a few favorites. Weber State’s at home against Eastern Washington, and while I’m not sold on the Wildcats covering 10.5 after Eastern just took Montana to the wire, I just need them to get a win. Santa Clara is trying to charge into the bubble picture and cannot afford a loss to Pacific (which is 0-7 on the road), and Coppin State’s facing the same Delaware State team that played Morgan State yesterday. The Hornets played their best game of the season and lost by 12, which means they likely have no energy left for the Eagles. I’ll be backing Coppin to cover the 12 as well.
Is Edmonton back in business? I’m not buying it. The Oilers have won four straight, but this still isn’t a team that’s looked all that comfortable with each other, and Ottawa has played much better as of late. The Senators are playing with nothing to lose, and that’s dangerous for a team like Edmonton. It’s a risk, but it’s worth a shot.