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5 Bets to Make this Week

This week 5 Bets takes a look at two Christmas NBA games, two college football bowl games, and an NFL game.

The Christmas edition of 5 Bets has lots of potential gifts for bettors. We first look at two NBA games played on December 25. Both of the teams I like are taking on squads that had high hopes coming into the season but have so far faltered.

Next are two college bowl games that appeal to me. One is the Hawaii Bowl and the other is the Holiday Bowl.

Lastly, we tackle an NFL game that should be a frigid affair but the two teams playing are used to cold temperatures.

5 Bets to Make this Week

  • New York Knicks +3.5 over Philadelphia 76ers
  • Dallas Mavericks -3.5 over Los Angeles Lakers
  • Oregon Ducks -14 over North Carolina Tar Heels
  • San Diego State Aztecs -7 over Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
  • Buffalo Bills -9 over Chicago Bears

Knicks Push Past 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to have a little better year than they’re currently having, while the New York Knicks seem to be overachieving a bit.

The two kick off the Christmas Day NBA schedule at famed Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are a 3.5-point underdog. The last time these two teams played, the Knicks won on the road by two.

New York has been rattling off victories, winning seven games in a row at one point. The 76ers have been piling up wins as well, at one point producing a five-game streak.

The two were fifth and sixth in the standings as of Tuesday and comfortably in a playoff spot but improving your standing in the Eastern Conference is always motivation to win. New York, however, should come out on top in this contest.

Prediction: Knicks +3.5 over 76ers (-112 at Unibet)

Watch: Sunday, 12 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN, FuboTV

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Mavericks Easily Handle Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are old, often injured, and have no chance to make the playoffs. That’s the good news.

The bad news is they still have more than half a season to slug through. They’ve been doing it for a while without Anthony Davis. Shocking, I know, he’s injured again. The team has no idea when he’ll be back.

How much more of this can LeBron James take? I mean he puts on a brave face and talks about how the team is improving, but it might be time for an intervention.

Their present is they get to play the Dallas Mavericks. Despite being two spots out, the Mavs still have playoff aspirations and might actually trade for a player to make that happen.

In the meantime, they will down teams below them in the standings like the Lakers. This game shouldn’t be that close.

Prediction: Mavericks -3.5 over Lakers (-112 at BetRivers)

Watch: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN, FuboTV

Oregon Smothers North Carolina

Oddsmakers were solidly behind the Oregon Ducks as they opened odds for the Holiday Bowl in San Diego at nine points against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Bettors didn’t think that was high enough and rose the line up to 14.5 points at most sportsbooks.

The Ducks are ranked 15th in the country and are coming off a disappointing loss to in-state rival the Oregon State Beavers. Shortly after the game, star cornerback Christian Gonzalez declared for the NFL Draft.

Oregon has the firepower to make up for that deficiency. They are third in yards, averaging 507.8 per game. Look for quarterback Bo Nix to have an outstanding game, passing at will over an overwhelmed North Carolina defense.

Prediction: Oregon –14 over North Carolina (-110 at BetMGM)

Watch: Wednesday 8 p.m. ET, Fox, FuboTV

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Aloha Means Goodbye to Middle Tennessee

We travel to the Aloha State for the Hawaii Bowl, a matchup against the San Diego State Aztecs and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. The game opened at SDSU -6.5 but has since popped up to seven.

The Aztecs had designs on winning the conference but instead floundered early, losing to Arizona. The season saw them replace offensive coordinator and quarterback.

They can end the season on a high note with a win against Middle Tennessee. The Aztec defense should be able to hold the Blue Raiders down and the offense will cruise to a victory.

Prediction: SDSU –7 over Middle Tennessee (-110 at BetRivers)

Watch: Saturday 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FuboTV

Bills-Bears Thaw Out in Chicago

Is it just me or does it seem like the Buffalo Bills are playing in freezing temperatures every week this last month? They are going to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears and forecasters have the temperature at a balmy 10 degrees.

With the wind expected to be whipping off Lake Michigan at 20 mph, this game is going to feel much colder. Both teams are used to playing in the elements, and the weather always seems to get too much analysis when predicting the total.

Buffalo averages 28.1 points a game, good for fourth in the NFL. The Chicago defense is 30th in points allowed at 25.6. As bad as the Bears are, the total of 40.5 shouldn’t be that hard to reach.

Prediction: Bills-Bears Over 40.5 points (-110 at Caesars)

Watch: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS, FuboTV

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