Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for at the Gabacho Borracho podcast: the night when the United States foolishly risks frostbite against Honduras for no other reason than they can. Today is also a day that we come into with momentum after the world of college basketball gave us some generous totals to work with. Plays like getting to take Nebraska to give up 79 points or Auburn and Alabama to cash an over won’t come around often, so when they do, it’s important to jump on them, cash them and move on to the next challenge.
We’ve got a few good options worth our time before we get to watch the U.S. and Honduras freeze in St. Paul, so let’s get to them. Here are my best plays for February 2.
MISSOURI +6, -110
The Tigers are actually a competent basketball team at home, as Auburn nearly learned the hard way on its visit to Columbia. Florida has not looked good away from Gainesville, and this game looks like a major trap after the Gators handled Oklahoma State over the weekend. Plus, it’s an early tip-off to beat the oncoming winter storm, and early tips usually favor the home team. I like the Tigers in this situation.
LONGWOOD -2.5, -110
The Lancers are playing excellent basketball right now and might very well be the class of the Big South. They rebound it very well for a mid-major, which should give them an edge against UNC-Asheville. The Bulldogs are rather weak on the boards, as their strength is defending the 3-pointer. But that’s not what the Lancers do best anyway, as Justin Hill scores most of his points from inside the perimeter.
INDIANA STATE +4.5, -110
You don’t want Drake when the Bulldogs are laying points. Drake is just 3-11 ATS when it’s favored, and I think the Bulldogs are in trouble coming to Terre Haute. Indiana State has been very difficult to beat at home this year and Drake’s coming off a big win over Loyola, which means the Bulldogs aren’t likely to be ready to play this game. Throw in that the Bulldogs are likely to have some concerns about how exactly they’ll get home to Des Moines with close to a foot of snow projected for Indiana tonight, and the Sycamores hold plenty of value.
LOYOLA-ILLINOIS -14.5, -110
Fade Illinois State on the road in the Valley. I shouldn’t need to write another word after that, but I will. The Redbirds have been awful outside of Normal, failing to cover in their past three away from home with the fourth being a cover because the books set the line too high on Drake yet again. Loyola should be plenty motivated after losing to the Bulldogs, and the Redbirds likely won’t provide a ton of resistance.
WILD/FLAMES PARLAY, +120
Minnesota comes in having won eight of nine, and the one was a shootout loss to Colorado. Two of those wins have been over the Blackhawks, and I like their chances to get a third victory over Chicago here. Calgary has won four of five and should get a nice break against the intrepid Coyotes, who haven’t done much at the home that’s kicking them out at the end of the season.
UNITED STATES AND U2.5, +175
You knew this was coming. I’d like to bet on Honduras to get shut out, but Vegas is well aware of how hopeless the Catrachos’ cause will be in single-digit temperatures in St. Paul. I don’t expect the U.S. to do too much either, so the under with an American victory looks like a strong play. I’m also very tempted by a 1-0 correct score for the U.S. at +425.
CANADA CLEAN SHEET, -110
I’m getting better odds on Canada keeping the goose egg than I am on the Reds to win the match (-125), so I’m jumping all over this one. Canada has given up the fewest goals in the Octagonal at five, while El Salvador has only scored six. Canada to win to nil at +155 is also a tempting play, but I think the safest option is the clean sheet in case the Salvadorans find a way to play out another scoreless draw at home.