CFB

Five for Friday: Best Bets for October 21

Thursday should have worked out, given how poor the quality of Thursday night football has been. Bet the under, watch something else and laugh all the way to the bank when the score comes in 20 points below the total has been a winner all year.

Yeah, not so much when Afternoon Andy is involved. Primetime Andy Dalton quickly victimized my under play with a pair of pick-sixes in the first half, and it was all downhill from there. My other two plays of Troy and Virginia/GT under worked well, but that’s no good in a parlay.

We’re back to straight line betting for this one, and we’ve got plenty of good options and a couple games that even the players themselves might want to pass on. Here are my best plays for October 21.

LONG ISLAND -3, -110

My co-host Corey loves to talk about Sickos games in soccer, but this one goes to a new level. When discussing Wagner football, shield your children’s eyes, folks; it’s that ugly. The Seahawks have lost 26 straight games and gained just 50 yards in a 59-0 loss to Syracuse. The Sharks also bring an 0-6 record, but they’ve at least competed with teams like Merrimack and Villanova. Wagner’s long losing streak should continue.

LIGHTNING ML, -105

I love when people read too much into Tampa Bay’s early struggles. The Lightning have plenty of talent and have dominated this matchup with Florida, winning five straight over the Panthers. Tampa is fresher after two days of rest and should come out angry after blowing a lead to Philadelphia. Getting the Lightning at almost even money offers great value.

BLACKHAWKS ML, -105

The Red Wings have improved since last season and the Blackhawks are terrible, but this is a home opener and an Original Six matchup. NHL teams are 18-10 in their home openers this season, and the Blackhawks have had six days off before taking the ice at the United Center. Plus, Chicago still has offensive talent and has looked better on the blue line than anyone expected. The Blackhawks have a good chance at a win here.

WESTERN KENTUCKY -1.5, -110

All three of Western Kentucky’s losses are good ones. The Hilltoppers lost by 3 to UTSA, which looks like C-USA’s best team, by 3 in overtime to Indiana and by 3 to Troy, which might be the Sun Belt’s best. UAB has a loss to a much less impressive Rice and struggled to put away a horrid Charlotte team. The Hilltoppers should handle things at home.

PADRES ML, -125

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about this one. Joe Musgrove carried an 8-0 record into his one start against the Phillies earlier this year and got bombed for six runs in a 6-2 loss to Philadelphia — and that was at Petco Park, not Citizens Bank Park. But I’ll still lean San Diego here, even in the Phillies’ shoebox. Musgrove should be better than Ranger Suarez and the San Diego bullpen is miles better than the Phillies’ shaky bullpen. You play first fives on the Phillies for a reason, but here, I want the bullpens to come into play.

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