Today’s Best Bets
|Little Caesars Bowl, Pittsburghvs. Bowling Green||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|Poinsettia Bowl, Utah Statevs. Northern Illinois||6:30 p.m.||ESPN||1320|
|HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL|
|Placer vs. San Juan||8 p.m.||950|
|Memphis at Houston||5 p.m.||TNT|
|L.A. Clippers at Portland||7:30 p.m.||TNT|
|EPL, Manchester United at Hull City||4:40 a.m.||NBCSN|
|EPL, Arsenal at West Ham||6:55 a.m.||NBCSN|
|EPL, Liverpool at Manchester City||9:25 a.m.||NBCSN|
|WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY|
|United States vs. Czech Republic||8:30 a.m.||NHL|
Friday’s Best Bets
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|Military Bowl, Marshall vs. Maryland||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Texas Bowl, Syracuse vs. Minnesota||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fight Hunger Bowl, BYUvs. Washington||6:30 p.m.||ESPN||1320|
|MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL|
|Northern Kentucky at North Carolina||4 p.m.||ESPNU|
|Louisiana-Monroe at Ohio State||4 p.m.||BIG10|
|Lafayette at Seton Hall||5 p.m.||FS1|
|DePaul at Northwestern||6 p.m.||BIG10|
|Mississippi Valley State at Washington||7:30 p.m.||PAC12|
|Washington at Minnesota||5 p.m.||NBA|
|Miami at Kings||7 p.m.||10||1140|
|Phoenix at Warriors||7:30 p.m.||680|
|Sharks at Phoenix||6 p.m.||CSNCA||950|
|Olympic Trials, speed skating||5 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Schedule subject to change|
NFL ON THE AIR
BALTIMORE AT CINCINNATI
• Time: 10 a.m.
• TV: Ch. 13
• Line: Bengals by 51/2
• Records: Ravens 8-7,
• Skinny: Cincinnati still has a shot at the second seed in the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye if the Bills beat the Patriots in an afternoon game, so look for the Bengals to play their hearts out and finish 8-0 at home. An added bonus: A victory by the Bengals will knock the Ravens, their division rival and the defending champions, out of the playoffs. The Ravens hardly deserve to be in the playoffs after Sunday’s embarrassment against the Patriots.
CAROLINA AT ATLANTA
• Time: 10 a.m.
• TV: FOX40
• Line: Panthers by 7
• Records: Panthers 11-4,
• Skinny: As of Wednesday night, the NFL still hadn’t announced which morning game will air on FOX40 – the other choices are Lions-Vikings and Redskins-Giants – but we’re guessing this one, with the Panthers playing for the NFC South title. Though the Falcons nearly knocked off the 49ers on Monday night, look for the Panthers to make Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan miserable with constant pressure and win this one by more than a touchdown.
49ERS AT ARIZONA
• Time: 1:25 p.m.
• TV/radio: FOX40, 680, 1320
• Line: 49ers by 11/2
• Records: 49ers 11-4,
• Skinny: Whew! The 49ers survived 34-24 on Monday when NaVorro Bowman returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown to end what seemed certain to be a game-winning or game-tying drive by Atlanta. The victory clinched a playoff spot for the 49ers, who still have a chance to win the NFC West if Seattle loses to St. Louis. The Cardinals, who have won seven of eight, can make the playoffs if they win this one and the Saints lose to the Bucs.
DENVER AT RAIDERS
• Time: 1:25 p.m.
• TV/radio: Ch. 13, 950, 1140
• Line: Broncos by 121/2
• Records: Broncos 12-3,
• Skinny: All the talk has been about Raiders coach Dennis Allen’s decision to start Terrelle Pryor at quarterback over Matt McGloin. But the only quarterback who matters in this game is the Broncos’ Peyton Manning, who likely will add to his single-season NFL record with several more touchdown passes. The Raiders have lost five in a row, so there’s no reason to believe they can compete with the Broncos. Look for them to finish 4-12 for the second straight season.
PHILADELPHIA AT DALLAS
• Time: 5:30 p.m.
• TV/radio: Ch. 3, 1320
• Line: Eagles by 61/2
• Records: Eagles 9-6,
• Skinny: The NFL flexed this game to Sunday night because the winner takes the NFC East crown, but that was before anyone knew the extent of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s injury. If Romo can’t play, as is expected, the Cowboys will go with backup Kyle Orton. No matter which one plays, Philadelphia’s Nick Foles will be the best quarterback on the field as the Eagles roll.
– Tom Couzens