Wild Card Wednesday: Best Bets for December 28

There’s nothing better than waking up o discover you cashed a bet the night before. I just couldn’t stay up for the full Wisconsin-Oklahoma State game from Phoenix with all the holiday activities going on, so I called it a night earlier than usual rather than try to fight through the fourth quarter. And the Badgers did what was necessary, holding on to ensure my under cashed.

We’ve got another four college football games to look at today, as well as some conference action in college basketball. This is when it starts to get fun to bet college hoops, because now we’re comparing like items. When you’re making bets, more data is almost always better. Here are my plays for December 28.

DUKE -2.5, -110

Motivation worked for UCF last season against Florida. It should work against the Knights here against Duke. Central Florida had a shot at the Cotton Bowl but couldn’t get past Tulane, and instead of Arlington, they’ve got to settle for Annapolis. Duke, on the other hand, will likely be thrilled to play anywhere in December. The Blue Devils can win nine games for the first time since 2014, and I think that carries them here.

TENNESSEE -7.5, -110

Kermit Davis might be cooked in Oxford. Davis looked like the man to get Mississippi over the hump, but this has steadily gone downhill since his first season. The Rebels lost to North Alabama and now get to face Tennessee’s deadly offensive rebounding. The Volunteers make life a nightmare for offenses, and that’s not what Mississippi needs right now. This should be a solid play.


One of the things you need for an under is a low free throw number. The last thing you want when you bet under is points with the clock stopped. Luckily, free throw shooters don’t get much worse than Missouri State. The Bears rank 362nd out of 363 in free throw percentage. Throw in a slow pace from both teams and a Northern Iowa squad that excels at mid-range jumpers, and you have a recipe for an under.

ALABAMA -1.5, -110

This line could be either a gift or a trap. The Crimson Tide have played very well recently and the Bulldogs are in a funk. Mississippi State barely escaped Jackson State and Nicholls before losing to Drake, while Alabama’s only setbacks are to Connecticut and Gonzaga on neutral floors. The Tide has a win at Houston, and they shouldn’t be intimidated going to Starkville. If Mississippi State were playing well, I’d think twice, but their recent form has me leaning Alabama.

TEXAS TECH +3.5, -110

I’d better stay out of Mississippi for a while, considering I’m fading Mississippi football, Mississippi basketball and Mississippi State football. But this marks another bad matchup for a Magnolia State school. Texas Tech closed the year strong, while Mississippi kind of faded down the stretch. The Red Raiders should come in motivated after winning three straight to finish the season. Texas Tech makes sense here.

OREGON TTO 44.5, -110

North Carolina’s defense has been optional at best. Bo Nix has made steady progress in his first year in Eugene, and he should be salivating at this matchup. The Tar Heels haven’t been able to stop anything all season, and the Ducks will likely throw caution to the wind here.

CONNECTICUT -11.5, -110

Villanova might have won five straight games, but only Oklahoma qualifies as even mildly impressive. The rest were over middling competition, and Connecticut represents a much stiffer test. The Huskies played poorly against Georgetown last time out but still won by double digits. They should have that out of their system for Villanova. Look for this to be a comfortable win for UConn.

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