Post Turkey Day Sports Picks: Friday's Meatiest Bets On the Board

Swinging Johnson

Friday, November 27, 2015 6:56 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 6:56 PM UTC

We feature our top college football picks, NCAA basketball picks, NHL picks, & NBA picks. There’s plenty of post Turkey Day action to be had and money to be made, so let’s sweep the board!

College Football - #143 Baylor (-1 ½) vs. TCU
The Bears have won this Big 12 matchup the last two years but if you backed them in your college football picks you would not have been happy. Baylor was installed by the college football odds makers as 7½ point favorites last season and 14½ point home chalk in their 2013 tilt but won both contests by only three points each time. However, this season the line is quite a bit more favorable to the Bears and we intend to take advantage of every bit of it.

The Bears had a huge win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater last week that has kept their names in the playoff conversation. They are still a longshot to be sure as they are currently ranked 7th by the College Football Playoff Committee yet every win counts and they realize that a loss on the road to the Horned Frogs or to the Longhorns on the final week of their regular season will oust them from contention.  

The line is low for a few reasons but none more important than the injury to freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham who went down last week but was spelled impressively by sophomore QB Chris Johnson who tossed a pair of touchdown passes in relief. In addition Big 12 rushing leader Shock Linwood may also be out. Yet that is still not enough to sway me as the oddsmakers have accounted for those injuries by giving us less of an encumbrance to overcome. TCU has been bitten by the injury bug as well and will most likely be without their starting quarterback Trevone Boykin.

Free College Football Pick:  Bears -1½ at GTBets

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College Basketball - Santa Clara vs. #768 Evansville (-12)  
Santa Clara came within inches of upsetting the Arizona Wildcats yesterday but still remain winless on the season. They have been brutal to anyone backing them in their NCAA Basketball picks having an ATS mark of 1-5 with their lone cover coming last night in their 75-73 loss as 24 point underdogs. You would think that the Broncos would be a live dog in this one as the NCAA Basketball odds makers opened them as 11-point dogs to Evansville but as of this writing that number has climbed even higher to 12. That is a combination of sharp and public money that blindly backs double digit favorites no matter the sport, contest or teams involved.

However, Evansville is indeed the sharp side here even though it looks like an astoundingly square play. The Purple Aces are 3-1 straight up on the season and in fact did not look good last night in their 74-64 loss to the Providence Friars. However Santa Clara should be just what the doctor ordered for a team that is more skilled and far deeper than the little school from the West Coast Conference.

Santa Clara went into overtime earlier this season in a 65-63 loss to Lipscomb and failed to show up the following evening against Denver where they were six-point favorites but got drilled 55-33. Evansville is a far more talented foe than Denver and the results should be similar in this one as Santa Clara is coming off that narrow loss and will get pummeled the following night as they did before.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Evansville -12 at Heritage


NBA - #709 76'ers (+11) vs. Rockets
Don't mind if I wince as I back the Philadelphia 76'ers in my NBA picks tonight. They are a brutal team that is in mortal danger of tying a professional sports mark for the longest consecutive losing streak. The Sixers have lost all 16 games this season combining with 10 from last year tying the Tampa Bucs for the longest losing streak in the history of U.S. major professional sports.

So why then would I break my daddy's rule and throw good money after a bad team? The reason is that these are professional athletes with a certain degree of pride and you can snicker all you want and joke about how truly terrible this team is but the fact is that the NBA odds makers have given them too many points over the course of their last three games and Philly has covered each and every one.

Their opponent this evening is the Houston Rockets who are also going through a prolonged malaise this season. The Rockets have dropped seven of their last eight straight up and have failed to cover the number in all of them. This is the team that you believe is 11 points better than anyone? It was a little over a year ago the last time these clubs met and the Rockets came away with an 88-87 home victory as 16 ½ point favorites.

You could certainly make the assertion that the Rockets were a much better team in '14 than they are now and I will stake my claim that Philadelphia will be up for this game and determined not to go down in the annals of sports history as the worst there ever was. They may not get the win here but I cannot fathom that there won't be a herculean effort by the boys from Philly that will keep this one close.

Free NBA Pick: Philadelphia +11 at Bookmaker

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NHL - #011 Penguins (-123) vs. Blue Jackets
These teams met in Pittsburgh earlier this month and the Jackets recorded a 2-1 victory. However, this outcome will be as different as the venue in which the teams will play. Pittsburgh has won three of their last four while Columbus is entrenched in a pattern of win one lose, win one lose one and guess where the pattern falls tonight? That's right, they lose one.

The Pens have a 5-4 mark on the road this season while the Jackets have not been fond of the home cooking and if you have backed this team solely when they play at home in your NHL picks then you are staring straight in the barrel of a sizeable deficit. The Blue Jackets are 3-7 at home and -4.3 units. The NHL odds makers understand this which is why the line has soared from an opener of Pittsburgh -115 to as high as -135 in some shops. However, we like to go shopping for the best buy which is why you can get on over to and catch Pittsburgh as a -123 favorite.

The bottom line here is that the Penguins have plenty of firepower that begins with Sidney Crosby, who has endured a difficult season, and tallied two goals in Wednesday night's 4-3 victory over the Blues. Meanwhile the Blue Jackets eked out a win over the anemic Devils in their last outing but were outshot 28-25 by the league's least offensive offense. The Penguins will be peppering starter Sergei Bobrovsky in this one and should skate away from Columbus with a victory in tow.

Free NHL Pick: Penguins -123 at Pinnacle

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