12/26 VIP Picks

It was a holly jolly Christmas for those of you who only played the straight plays yesterday going 2-1 with the Celtics and Clippers taking care of business for us! We have some College Football and NBA action tonight so let’s get right into it. 4:00 EST Team Total Louisiana Tech Over (21.5) - There’s some talk across the betting world today hyping up the LA Tech moneyline in this game at +197 with Miami missing some key pieces, this game being played in Louisiana, and the fact that Miami has a recent trend of not showing up in bowl games losing 8 of their last 9. I think the LA Tech team total is the smarter play in this one so let’s roll with that. One can argue that they didn’t play anyone good at home this season but they have averaged 45 points per game at home and this is essentially a home game for them with it being played about an hour away from their campus. QB J’Mar Smith leads the Bulldogs offense and he has thrown for 2,814 yards, 17 touchdowns, and just 4 interceptions. Miami has some key pieces sitting out on defense today to stay healthy for the NFL draft including D End Jonathan Garvin who had 21 solo tackles and 5 sacks this season, D End Trevon Hill who had 17 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks, and linebacker Michael Pinckney who had 40 solo tackles and 5 sacks this season. Miami had higher expectations coming into this season than to be 6-6 so you have to question the motivation for today’s “Walk Ons Independence Bowl.” Looking back at the last two seasons for Miami, their defense allowed 18-19 points per game in each season before getting to their bowl games and allowing 34 and 35 in back to back seasons. With this defense missing some key pieces and the track record of Miami in bowl games, I like LA Tech to go over 21.5 today. 8:00 EST Teaser: Pitt (-6.5) / under (54.5) - Pitt has had more impressive moments this season than Eastern Michigan. Looking back to September, this Pitt team competed with #13 Penn State who eventually worked their way up the rankings to #4, they lost that game 17-10. Then Pitt beat #15 UCF the following week. They then went 5-3 from that point on in the season and I would say the two losses in a row to end the season could be a cause for concern in this one although those losses were against ACC opponents, not MAC opponents. However, seeing how bad Eastern Michigan has been defensively against bad teams makes me think that Pitt can get the offense going to cover -6.5. They threw the ball a lot more this year and QB Kenny Pickett ranked #14 in the nation in passing attempts. Eastern Michigan has not been able to stop the run or pass this year and they have allowed opponents to score 30.5 points per game. Hearing that might make you hesitant on the under portion of this teaser but I’m here to tell you that Pittsburgh’s defense has been good this season and they rank #11 and #5 nationally in yards allowed per game and yards allowed per play this season. This Pitt defense also gets after the QB and ranks just 2 sacks behind #1 Ohio State. I think this Eastern Michigan offense who racked up numbers against MAC opponents will be in for a rude awakening tonight. This one could get one sided and I think that lines up nicely for this teaser to hit. 7:00 EST Wizards (+7) - The Wizards will be on the road to take on the Pistons tonight who they have already beat twice this season. The first win came on Nov 4 where the Wizards won 115-99 and the second win came 10 days ago when the Wizards won 133-119. The reason that the Wizards are underdogs in this one is because they will be without Isaiah Thomas due to suspension and a few other guys will be out due to injury. Bradley Beal will be playing tonight and that’s all that matters to me, he had 35 points in the game 10 days ago. The Pistons have also lost 5 games in a row with each one of those losses coming by 10 or more points. I’m confident in the Wizards to compete and cover the +7 even though they are shorthanded tonight. This line opened at 6 and was quickly bet up to 7 by the public so we have that going for us as well.