Five for Friday: Best Bets for December 30

When you lose a parlay, it’s never enjoyable. When you lose a parlay to something that shouldn’t happen, it’s even worse. Butler played probably its worst game of the year against Providence, and Idaho State went crazy from deep against Northern Arizona. Neither should have happened, but both did, leading to a rough Thursday.

Luckily, there are plenty of plays available today, including the return of the Hartford Hawks. We’re not missing that one. Here are my best plays for December 30.


We’ve been over this: Piscataway is where offense goes to die. Coppin State loves to play fast, but Rutgers loves to play defense. The Scarlet Knights cashed beautifully for me in holding Bucknell to 50, and Coppin State’s coming off scoring 65 at Richmond and 53 at George Mason. Considering that same Bucknell squad just played Richmond and scored 71, that bodes well for the Scarlet Knights. If the Eagles couldn’t get to 59 in Fairfax, chances are pretty slim that they’re getting to 59 in Piscataway.

MORGAN STATE -7.5, -110

We know the drill by now with Hartford. We’re fading the Hawks at every opportunity because this is a DIII roster trying to compete in DI. Morgan State can stroke it from deep, hitting 36.3% from behind the arc. Throw in some solid defense from the Bears, and this should cash pretty comfortably.

MARYLAND +1.5, -110

Motivation has worked more than a few times this bowl season. I’m counting on it again, as I think the Terrapins will come in fired up to beat State. Maryland acquitted itself well in the Big Ten’s regular season, and State hasn’t played well since losing Devin Leary. The Wolfpack do have some home-field advantage playing in Charlotte, but they also managed to lose to Boston College. A team that fell to that Eagles squad is certainly capable of losing to Maryland.

UCLA -7.5, -110

The Bruins have a full-strength lineup and Pittsburgh does not. With Israel Abanikanda opting to skip the Sun Bowl, Pitt really doesn’t have a good plan B available. UCLA, on the other hand, has Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet likely ready to go, which should have the Bruins’ offense humming. This reads like the Peach Bowl last season, except this time, only Pitt’s offensive weapons are opting out. That doesn’t bode well for the Panthers.


This total is low, but Wyoming has proven an under machine as of late. The Cowboys’ past three games haven’t gotten above the 30s, and they’ve played five straight to the under. Ohio’s offense just isn’t the same without Kurtis Rourke, which means both teams likely struggle to produce any points. Bobcat covers proved to be money during the MAC season, but Bobcat unders weren’t a bad move either. Ohio plays defense well and should keep Wyoming from putting up points.

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