Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Night Picks

Plain and simple, we have to be better than last night. As the old saying goes, shooters have to keep shooting the ball until it goes in. Luckily, it's Thursday so there are quite a few big games to choose from.

NFL - Chiefs @ Raiders (+7.5), 8:25pm

The Chiefs are the league's fourth-best running team. The rest of the top five is Seattle, Dallas, Houston, New York Jets. The Raiders have the 27th-best rushing defense in terms of yards per game. Simple logic would say that KC is going to run all over them and win by a million.

But not so fast! As it turns out, the Raiders have played the Jets, Texans, and Seahawks. They lost all three (obviously, because they're 0-10), but the only team to win by more than a touchdown was Houston, 30-14. But that was a game where Oakland lost two fumbles, threw two interceptions, and did not force a turnover. For the season, they average 1.4 turnovers and 0.9 takeaways.

I like the Raiders, especially if you're getting more than a touchdown. Some other potential plays are Oakland +13.5 (-200), +14.5 (-230), and +17.5 (-350). To get really crafty, if you parlay Oakland +14.5 with the Chiefs -380 moneyline, you end up with a line of -123 on "Chiefs To Win By 14 Or Less".

NCAA - #10 Texas (-6) vs. #25 Iowa (Game at Madison Square Garden), 7pm
NCAA - #22 SMU @ Indiana (+3), 8pm
NCAA - #23 Syracuse (-5) @ Cal (Game at Madison Square Garden), 9pm

National championship odds from Bovada:

  • Texas at 33/1, Iowa at 100/1
  • SMU at 66/1, Indiana at 100/1
  • Syracuse at 40/1, Cal at 300/1
Quote: "SMU earned its first preseason ranking in 30 years but likely won't be included in next week's poll after coming up short in a tough environment its last time out." ESPN

I like the two better teams with the more prestigious programs in the primetime MSG games. And I like Indiana as a slight home underdog because I don't trust SMU (who already lost at Gonzaga) to be able to go into a Big 10 team's house and beat them.

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