Tuesday Totals: Best Bets for December 20

As expected, yesterday wasn’t the usual Monday boon that it’s been this month with a weak slate of games. I didn’t expect Utah State to blow a double-digit halftime lead in Logan, but I knew the rest were coin flips. And that’s why the goal is simply to go above .500 for the day; do that often enough, and you’ll find some profit.

We’ve got a much more robust slate of games available today. Hopefully, we can use this to find a few winners and get back on track. Here are my top plays for December 20.


Liberty has not been the same team since it lost Dae Dae Hunter. Hunter served as the Flames’ top running back, and after losing him for the season, Liberty went into a tailspin. The Flames have lost three straight, and Toledo just showed that it can lock down a good offense. The Rockets held Ohio to just seven points in the MAC title game, and they should be able to keep Liberty in check with the Flames missing their best weapon.


The Eagles have hit this number in three straight and seem to be playing their best football on offense when it matters most. San Jose State seems a bit overhyped, and I don’t see the Spartans’ defense slowing the Eagles down here. With mild weather likely for Boise, Eastern should get its offense going.


With Alabama’s team total sitting at an insane 93 points, we’ve got to count on Jackson State to score. The Crimson Tide’s pace makes this possible, but the Tigers’ offense tends to be more hit-or-miss. Jackson State’s offense averages 66 points per game and its defense surrenders almost 83 points per game. And that’s before factoring in that they’re facing Alabama, which never met a shot it didn’t like. Nate Oats will push the pace, and triple digits aren’t out of the question for the Tide here. As long as Jackson State shoots anything close to half-decent, this total’s in reach.

WAKE FOREST TTU 67.5, -110

Wake’s not scoring right now, and Duke has developed into a rock-solid defense under Jon Scheyer. The Blue Devils’ only losses came to Kansas and Purdue, and only the Jayhawks, Boilermakers and Ohio State got to 65 points against Duke. Expecting Wake to suddenly start shooting well after Rutgers and Clemson both locked them down seems foolish.


This should be a fairly slow-paced contest. It also helps that Idaho State doesn’t match up well with Grand Canyon’s defense. The Bengals don’t shoot the ball particularly well, and the Antelopes love to make teams work for whatever they get. Don’t expect an abundance of scoring in this one.


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