Wise n' Shine: What you need to know to bet better on Thursday, December 30

Graham Mertz CFB player prop
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Andrew Ortenberg


Show Bio

I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

Good morning, Pickswise Nation! We’ve got more college football bowl action plus games in the NBA, NHL, and college basketball. Let’s get straight into making your next bet better!

About Last Night

Oklahoma crushes Oregon, CFB mega parlay cashes yet again
The return of Bob Stoops to Oklahoma was a rousing success. Oklahoma dominated Oregon in a 47-32 Alamo Bowl victory as Stoops coached on an interim basis in place of the recently departed Lincoln Riley. Most importantly, we had the Sooners on the spread as part of our CFB mega parlay, which cashed at +848. Incredibly, it was the third time in a row we hit our college football mega parlay. Check out our mega parlay for Thursday’s action to see if we can make it four in a row!

Ja Morant, LeBron put on a show
The highlight of the NBA slate was an epic back-and-forth between Ja Morant and LeBron James. James put up 37/13/7, while Morant countered with an equally impressive 41/10/2. The Grizzlies beat the Lakers 104-99, but they just barely failed to cover the -5.5 closing spread.

Today’s Slate

Four games of NBA action
After a huge card on Wednesday, the NBA action will quiet down a bit on Thursday with only four games. That being said there are a couple of really good ones, as we’ll get treated to 76ers/Nets and Nuggets/Warriors as an NBA TV double-header. Make sure you read our predictions for each of tonight’s big matchups.

Four more CFB bowl games
Bowl season is approaching the home stretch, and we’ve got four more games on Thursday. The action will get started early, with North Carolina taking on South Carolina at 11:30 am ET on ESPN. The most highly anticipated matchup of the day is the Peach Bowl, where #12 Pittsburgh and #10 Michigan State will do battle (7:00 pm ET, ESPN). Read our picks for all of today’s CFB bowl games here, as well as our picks for the College Football Playoff.

Smaller college basketball slate
Same story as with the NBA here. After a huge CBB slate on Wednesday, things will tighten up on Thursday. There are still a few good games, including matchups between Michigan and UCF as well as Utah and Oregon State. Find out our picks for today’s big CBB matchups.

NHL picking back up
After returning from their Covid break, things are slowly getting more normal in the NHL. We’ve got seven games on the docket for Thursday, and thankfully none of them have been postponed yet. Check out our picks for each of today’s games.

Best Bet of the Day

Wisconsin Badgers -6 over Arizona State Sun Devils
10:30 pm ET, ESPN

The nightcap of Thursday’s college football bow slate is the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, and we’ve got a three-star play for it on the Badgers. Wisconsin was a bit of a disappointment early on, but they closed the season really strong by winning seven of their final eight games. The Badgers are already elite on defense, and now Arizona State is going to be without star running back Rachaad White, who was the engine of their offense. Arizona State prefers to employ a run-first offense, so being without their lead ball carrier is a huge loss. We don’t think quarterback Jayden Daniels will have much success without White in the backfield. Read our full game preview for Wisconsin vs Arizona State.


It’s Pickswise Playbook day! Don’t miss our weekly NFL betting show starring Chris Rose, Jared Smith and Ross Tucker as they take you through the Week 17 NFL slate and provide their best bets across the matchups.

Don’t miss today’s episode of Let’s Bet It, our daily betting show hosted by Lauren Jbara. Guests Andrew Ortenberg and former NFL executive Jim Monos will join Lauren as they break down the day’s biggest matchups and give you their best picks of the day. Make sure you subscribe to our Pickswise Youtube channel so you never miss an episode!


2021 is coming to an end, so we thought it would be a good time to look back on the year in sports betting. Ricky Dimon wrote up the top 10 worst ‘bad beats’ of the year, which might make you feel better about some of your own brutal losses. If you’d rather reminisce about some feel-good stories, I broke down the top 10 biggest betting upsets from 2021.

As we get closer to the New Year’s Six bowl games and the College Football Playoff, make sure you check out Ross Tucker’s best bets for ALL of those huge matchups.

Be sure to head over to the Analysis tab for even more great sports betting content.

Stat of the Day

The Montreal Canadiens are just 2-11-3 away from home this season. They have been unspeakably bad on the road, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re playing the Carolina Hurricanes on the puck line.

Boost of the Day

Joel Embiid & Kevin Durant to combine for 60+ points tonight (12/30)

If you want to have some fun tonight and cheer on two of the biggest stars of the NBA, then this odds boost is for you. DraftKings have bumped up Embiid and Durant to combine for 60 points or more tonight to +195. Let’s see if they can make it rain!

Pickswise is the home of free sports picks, news, and best bets. Check out our expert NFL picks, NCAAF picks, NBA picks, NHL picks and Soccer picks for the latest game picks.

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