Today's Top Picks: What to play in NLCS Game 1 plus two best bets for Friday's college football slate
Also, watch SportsLine on CBS Sports HQ live at 6 p.m. ET for all today's best bets
It's a busy Friday night slate available to us tonight, as we have three college football games, Game 1 of the NLCS as well as three NHL games and a whole bunch of NBA preseason games. Well, I'm not betting NBA preseason games or NHL. So I hope you're happy watching college football and baseball tonight.
All odds via William Hill.
1. Virginia at Miami: Under 43
Ithis week, and while the total has dropped a bit further since then, I still like it. Neither of these teams has a good offensive line. Miami is allowing an average of nine tackles for loss this season, while Virginia's been slightly better at 6.8. Still, neither are good, and both lines will struggle against defensive fronts that are pretty good. Virginia ranks No. 20 and Miami is at No. 26 in my Chaos Rate metric, which measures how disruptive a defense is. They will have the better side of the battles on Friday night, and this will be a lower-scoring affair.
CBS Sports analyst Barrett Sallee shares his three college football best bets every week with SportsLine, and this year they've been scorching hot, with Sallee going 12-5-1 to start the year. See who he loves only at SportsLine.
I'm fading Mario Cristobal here more than anything. Since taking over at Oregon, the Ducks have gone 7-12 ATS under Cristobal. That includes a mark of 3-7 ATS when at home, as well as 5-8 ATS as a favorite. Furthermore, the Ducks have been favored by at least 21 points in six games under Cristobal, and they've gone 1-5 ATS in those games. The latest example of this came last week when the Ducks beat a Cal team missing its starting QB 17-7 as a 21.5-point favorite. Oregon is going to win this game tonight, but it will be more difficult than it has to be because that's just what the Ducks do.
The baseballs have seemingly changed this postseason, which has seen scoring drop quite a bit from the regular season. Well, tonight is going to feel like more of a regular-season game. Miles Mikolas is starting for the Cardinals, and Anibal Sanchez will be on the bump for the Nationals. Neither of these guys strike out a lot of hitters, which means there will be a lot of balls in play tonight, and this total is too low. This is a total for a battle of aces, not mid- to late-rotation starters.
The SportsLine projection model simulated Friday's National League Championship Series Game 10,000 times, and it likes one side of the moneyline to cash nearly 60 percent of the time. See its Game 1 picks over at SportsLine.
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