A win on Friday night vaults Maryland into the top 25.
The undefeated Terrapins host No. 5 Iowa on Friday (8 p.m. ET, FS1) in one of the better matchups of a loaded Week 5 in college football. The Hawkeyes are 3.5-point favorites and the total is 47.5.
Maryland is only getting just over a field goal because of wins over West Virginia and Illinois so far this season. The Terrapins are averaging over 350 passing yards and 500 total yards per game and boast one of the most productive offenses in the country.
Iowa, meanwhile, has a staunch defense. All four Iowa games so far this season have hit the under and the Hawkeyes are the kings of the timely turnover. Iowa forced four turnovers in a 10-point win over Iowa State in Week 2 and helped flipped last week’s win against Colorado State in the second half with a fumble recovery.
There’s decent reason to bet the under on Maryland’s side too. Three of the Terps’ four games so far this season have hit the under — only Maryland’s 62-0 win over FBS opponent Howard has gone over the total so far. Maryland has also covered the spread in three of its four games. And all three of those games have been at home.
We think the over is the right play, however. The total feels a little depressed because of the teams’ combined 1-7 record on overs. Crazy things can happen on a Friday night in college football and all it takes is just one team to get to 30 in a close game for the over to hit.
The Hawkeyes aren’t the only ranked team playing on Friday night either. No. 13 BYU heads to Utah State (9 p.m. ET, CBSSN) and is favored by 9.5 points over the Aggies. Utah State racked up a ton of yards but couldn’t turn that yardage into points in its loss to Boise State in Week 4. BYU had an easy time with South Florida at home a week ago.
BYU QB Jaren Hall should be back for the Cougars after missing that South Florida game. He was injured late in BYU’s win over Arizona State in Week 3 but has been deemed probable to play. BYU should win this game straight up, though we wouldn’t be surprised if Utah State covers the number, especially if it gets to 10 before kickoff.
Betting the final baseball games of the season
Buckle up for a wild ride to the playoffs.
The Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners are tied for the final Wild Card spot in the American League with the Toronto Blue Jays just a game behind. The New York Yankees have the top Wild Card spot and are currently two games ahead of the Mariners and Red Sox. The Yankees can clinch a playoff berth on Friday night with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays and if Toronto loses to the Baltimore Orioles, Boston loses to the Washington Nationals and Seattle loses to the Los Angeles Angels.
The prospect of a four-way tie for the two Wild Card spots also exists, especially if Tampa — which has clinched home field advantage in the AL Playoffs — plays hard to try to keep the Yankees out of the postseason. A four-way tie for two spots would mean that all four teams would play in two one-game playoffs to determine the two Wild Card teams.
As of now, the Yankees have the best World Series odds among the Wild Card teams at +1200. The Red Sox are at +2500, the Blue Jays are at +4000 and the Mariners are at +5000. If you think that either the Jays or Mariners can get into the field, those odds make for tantalizing championship bets.
Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega promises a few big crashes and a potentially exciting finish. And it’s an easy way to get into betting on racing.
Talladega’s unpredictable pack racing nature makes betting enticing. Drivers who normally don’t have a chance to win at other tracks can sneak out a win at Talladega. And a driver at +4000 or +5000 to win usually finds himself in the top five in the waning laps.
If you want to bet on Sunday’s race, our advice is to make a few small dollar bets throughout the field. Bet a favorite or two, a driver in the middle of the pack and then a couple drivers with odds outside the top 20. And then sit back and enjoy the race and don’t sweat the outcome because you didn’t place too much money on it.
Who cashed tickets on Thursday?
Bettors who had Virginia and the points against Miami on Thursday night were going to win no matter if Andres Borregales’ last-second field goal went in or not. But Borregales hit the left upright and the Cavaliers walked away with a 31-28 win to drop Miami to 2-3 in 2021.
Bettors who had the Orioles to ruin the Red Sox’s night also had a good time as Baltimore took two of three this week from Boston. The Yankees got a big 6-2 win at Toronto on Thursday night and, of course, Cincinnati beat Jacksonville 24-21 on a field goal as time expired. That was great news for Cincy moneyline bettors and Jags bettors against the spread. Jacksonville covered the 7.5-point spread and covered a spread for the first time all season despite dropping to 0-4.