What a letdown. Just like the AFC championship game, the Super Bowl fell flat in the final minute after 58 minutes of a classic. Regardless of how you play the game, the last thing you want is for a call to decide things. The story should have been about Patrick Mahomes gritting out a win, but instead, it became the phantom hold.
And that’s just disappointing to everyone. Eagles fans are rightly furious and/or heartbroken. Neutrals got robbed of a great finish that turned anticlimactic. The end was like watching a classic movie, only to have someone spoil the ending 10 minutes before it happens. The only ones at all satisfied are Chiefs fans, and even they now have to deal with the knowledge that a title they were probably good enough to win on their own will always look tainted everywhere else.
All in all, it’s just an unsatisfactory end to the NFL season. Luckily, we get more football on Saturday when the XFL kicks off. I’ll have XFL plays later in the week; for now, we’ve got some basketball bets to win. Here are my plays for February 13.
BAYLOR ML, -280
This is one where you just need to take a win. West Virginia’s gone just 1-5 SU on the road in Big 12 play, but the Mountaineers have mostly played competitive ball. They’ve lost by one at Oklahoma, seven at Oklahoma State, four at TCU and six in overtime at Kansas State.
So why not just take the Mountaineers plus the 6.5? Because Baylor’s dominated Big 12 opponents at home since Jan. 7. The Bears have won three of four by double digits, with Kansas the lone exception. Baylor’s probably going to take care of business here, but I don’t want to trust either team with this spread. Hopefully, taking the win works here.
BUCKNELL ML, +120
American is struggling right now. The Eagles have dropped three of four and seven of 10, and they’ve already fallen to Bucknell in Washington. American’s a tough team to solve, as the Eagles handed Colgate their only Patriot League defeat, yet lost to the last-place Bison at home. Bucknell has won two of four and has nothing to lose here, making the Bison an appealing home underdog.
MIAMI ML, +185
This is a pure value play. Miami is talented, but Miami is also vulnerable on the road. The Hurricanes have dropped four games away in ACC play, and all of them were close games. The Hurricanes fell by two to N.C. State, two to Duke and three to Pittsburgh, all reasonable losses. They also have a defeat to Georgia Tech by six, which makes them tough to trust.
At the same time, Carolina isn’t what it should be and could fall off the bubble entirely. The Heels have to have this game, but they’ve dropped three of four and only beat Clemson, which wins in Chapel Hill as often as I get a movie reference. The best play on the board is the Hurricanes +5.5, but if you’re looking for value, the moneyline is worth the gamble.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE ML, +120
Now we’re getting deep into the woods with this SWAC play. The Delta Devils have just three wins to their name, but they have played better in recent matchups. They nearly picked off Alabama A&M last time out, and they did win at Jackson State. Alabama State has won just once away all season, so the value again sits with the hosts.
SENATORS ML, +140
This is a trap game for the Flames. They’re likely thinking about the plane home more than the Senators, as they start a three-game homestand on Thursday. They’ve been on the road since Jan. 27, and they rarely play well against Ottawa anyway. The Senators have won five of seven against Calgary and come in winners of four of five. Once again, value sits with the host team.