It’s the week after Thanksgiving, and what better way to spend the money saved doing Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping than on sports bets? Here are a couple that I like this week:
NC State (-7) at Georgia Tech
Last year, NC State lost a stinker to Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd, but I didn’t realize how long the Wolfpack’s losing streak to the Yellow Jackets extended. You have to go back to 2010 for Pack’s last win against the Jackets, a 45-28 decision in Atlanta. This year’s Georgia Tech squad is marginally better, so what’s to say it won’t do it again? Well, this year’s NC State squad is better too, but by leaps and bounds.
The red and white have long since surpassed the one conference win season they had last year and have had great outings against Pittsburgh, Liberty and Miami — all quality teams. Losing to a 3-5 Georgia Tech team would be on brand for NC State, but I see no reason why that should happen this Saturday. Even if NC State doesn’t come out of the gates hot, the Pack wins by at least two scores.
Pick: NC State (-7)
Wisconsin (-14) vs Indiana
It’s been a joy watching the Indiana Hoosiers play football this season, and while they lost to Ohio State two weeks ago, the fact that they came agonizingly close to winning and gave the Buckeyes the toughest Big Ten game they’ve had in years tells me the Hoosiers are for real. Wisconsin has long been one of the premier schools of the Big Ten, and after struggling against Northwestern, it’s due for a bounceback game. Indeed, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL injury, which is why Wisconsin is the 14-point favorite heading into this matchup.
If you look at the tape in the Northwestern-Wisconsin game, you’ll see that Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz couldn’t get anything going against Northwestern, who has one of the best defenses in the country. Indiana also boasts one of the better defenses in the country, shutting out Michigan State, holding Taulia Tagovailoa and Maryland to 11 points and intercepting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields three times. Combine that with the fact that Indiana has offensive playmakers like Whop Philyor and Ty Fryfogle, and I see an opportunity to win big by betting on Indiana.
Pick: Indiana (+14)
Baylor vs Oklahoma (Total: 62.5)
Baylor hasn’t been the same since former head coach Matt Rhule left for the Carolina Panthers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good team. It lost by a touchdown to a highly ranked Iowa State team and by only one point to Texas Tech. If a couple of games swung Baylor’s way, the Bears would have a very respectable record and wouldn’t be a 22-point underdog to Oklahoma.
Playing against Oklahoma does that to a lot of teams, but this Oklahoma team has been one of the more underwhelming teams to come out of Norman since Lincoln Riley took over. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Baylor won this game, even though Oklahoma has rattled off five straight wins. Regardless, Baylor can put up a lot of points against the Sooners, and likewise, Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma offense is sure to do that against the Bears. Combine that with the fact that defense has been a long lost relic in the Big 12, and that makes this game turning into a shootout one of the safest picks of the week.
Pick: Over 62.5
Last week, staff writer Andy Mayer went 1-2 with his bets. NC State only managed a one-score victory against Syracuse, and the point total between Central and Eastern Michigan was just shy of the over. However, Mizzou’s shutout of Vandy meant the Tigers covered the spread comfortably.
Wolfpack Wager Record: 10-17
Bryan Pyrtle: 2-1
Camden Speight: 3-3
Andy Mayer: 4-6
Will Thornhill: 1-5
Ben Ellis: 0-3
Disclaimer: Gambling is a form of entertainment and can become addictive. If you think you have developed a problem, call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1(800) 522-4700.