We have put together a 4-pick cross-sport parlay that will take you right through Friday night including action from MLB and a nice slate of college football games.
Two picks each are taken from MLB and College Football. A winning ticket gives us a nice payout with odds at +1503 with DraftKings; that’s more than 15/1! Let’s break down each of these plays:
NCAAF pick: North Carolina Tar Heels -5.5 (-110) vs Virginia Tech Hokies, 6pm ET
UNC goes to Virginia Tech for a top 10 Friday night matchup. This is about as good of a game as you could ask for in Week 1. North Carolina has playoff hopes as Mack Brown returns for his third season as head coach. They also have a Heisman Trophy hopeful in Sam Howell at quarterback returning for his junior year. Last year UNC went 8-4 and will be looking for something closer to a 10 or 11-win season to try and get in the playoffs. Virginia Tech went a disappointing 5-6 last year in their 5th year under head coach Justin Fuente. Fuente is in the hot seat this year and will be looking to at least make a bowl game to keep his job, and a win over a top 10 opponent in Week 1 wouldn’t hurt either.
UNC will have a high-powered offense this year with Sam Howell and several returning wide receivers and running backs. They averaged 41.7 ppg last season, which was ninth-best record in the country. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, allowed 32.1 ppg last season, which does not bode well for their defense, especially since they don’t have the star recruits that UNC has. Expect Virginia Tech to come out ready to show out in their home opener against a top 10 conference rival, but ultimately UNC’s talent should overpower VT in a close game.
NCAAF pick: Duke Blue Devils -6.5 (-110) vs Charlotte 49ers, 7pm ET
Both teams had tough 2020 seasons, COVID-19 ravaged both rosters and no real momentum could be made throughout the season. Duke finished 2-9 while Charlotte finished 2-4. The Blue Devils will be led by senior quarterback Gunnar Holmberg, who should feel comfortable in Week 1 with a returning WR class as well as 3 returning offensive lineman. However, expect Duke to keep it easy on Holmberg early and they should heavily run the ball with their two-man backfield of Mataeo Durant and Deon Jackson. In last year’s meeting, Duke ran for 274 yards and they should take a similar approach as their advantage lies on the offensive line. David Cutliffe always has his team ready as they have posted a 7-1 record in opening games since he took over the program.
MLB: Texas Rangers vs Los Angeles Angels -1.5 (-105), 9:38pm ET
Shohei Ohtani will face a Rangers team that has been awful on the road in 2021. Texas is 16-49 away from Globe Life Field this season, and those 16 road wins are the fewest in the American League by a wide margin. A big reason for their road struggles has been the lack of offense. Entering Thursday, the Rangers owned the lowest OPS (.647), batting average (.222), and the second-lowest on-base percentage (.287) in the American League on the road so far this season. Going up against Ohtani will not make things any easier.
Glenn Otto will get the start for Texas. This will be just his second-career big-league appearance. He was strong in his first outing last week, but the Angels should be able to give him some trouble. The Angels are 32-12 against teams below the .500-mark this season, and they are 8-4 against the Rangers. Back Ohtani and the Halos -1.5 at home.
MLB: Houston Astros -1.5 (+110) vs San Diego Padres, 10:10pm ET
The newly acquired Jake Arrieta will take the mound for his second start in a Padres uniform and it’s baffling that he still has a job in Major League Baseball. Arrieta has a 7.13 ERA and 6.10 xERA in 89.2 innings between the Cubs and Padres and the former Cy Young has struggled to get past the 4th inning recently. He has not gone into the 5th inning in 6 straight starts and he has allowed 32 runs in 16.2 innings during that span. In his Padres debut in Colorado, he allowed 5 runs on 7 hits. including a home run, in 3.1 innings and nothing had changed from his struggles in Chicago.
Not only does Arrieta rank in the bottom 10% in xBA, xERA, xSLG, whiff rate, and more, but the Astros’ hitters have smashed him in their careers. In 49 plate appearances against Arrieta, the Astros have a .364 batting average with a 6.1% strikeout rate. The Cubs/Padres have lost the last 9 games Arrieta has started and 7 of those losses came by 2 or more runs, so feel confident backing the Astros -1.5 at plus odds.
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