Kansas @ Temple Over 135:
Tough game to call on the road, but there’s a couple reasons to like the over. First of all, Kansas has Cliff Alexander and Perry Ellis, Temple doesn’t. The Owls have had an average of 80 ppg hung on them, by teams of Kansas’ talent level (Villanova & Duke). Temple is back to full force, now that transfers Jesse Morgan and Will Cummings are on the floor. The Owls hung 82 points on a soft, Delaware squad, last outing. Temple makes games physical and fast, which will either be great, or be terrible, their won’t be an in between. We think it’s a positive. We expect the Owls to hit some 3’s at home, and we also expect both teams to be in the bonus early. This game should be 38 – 33 at half and coast to an easy over. Kansas 76 – Temple 69.
Oakland +9.5 @ Clemson:
This game wreaks with value. Oakland averages close to 77 points per game, whereas Clemson is putting up a measly 66 ppg’s. Road games are never a lock for teams of this caliber, but considering Oakland hung within 11 against Iowa State, and lost by 4, in a hostile Pitt environment, there’s value in them Golden Grizzlies. Remember this, Clemson not only struggles to put the ball in the hoop (they do play decent defense), but they’ve lost to Gardner Webb, Winthrop, and Rutgers this year! Oakland has a chance to steal this one, either way, 9.5 is just too many. Oakland 65 – Clemson 60.
Notre Dame -18.5 vs. Northern Illinois:
Huge spread, always scary right? Wrong! Tons of value in this game. NIU is averages close to 18 turnovers per game, on the season! The Huskies shoot a whopping 35% in first halves this season. Notre Dame is one of the most proficient three point shooting teams in the country. The Irish have scored over 80 points in 9 of their 11 wins (over 90 in 5 of those contests). Notre Dame also has 3 players that have made 15 or more 3’s on the season. There’s too many layups, and too many 3’s in this contest, for a team like NIU that gives away so many possessions. Irish win 88 – 61.
Uconn – 7 vs. Columbia:Don’t be fooled by past performance, this is the perfect time to jump back on the Husky bandwagon. Uconn has the experience of playing hard fought games with Texas, West Virginia, and now Kentucky. These Huskies’ early struggles will help them in their late season push. We’ve got the more athletic team, at home, with an All-American caliber point guard, as well as a giant rim protector. Columbia has played everyone close, including Kentucky, but they’re playing Uconn at the wrong time. There’s no chance in hell Columbia catches Uconn off guard, after that close game with Kentucky, and Uconn’s bad loss to Yale. Uconn wins this one with ease, 67 – 44.
Long Beach State +10/Over 135.5:
The Beach have two of the best guards in the country in Tyler Lamb and Mike Caffey. St. John’s has the better defense, but they’ve got more than enough athleticism to match. This will be a hard fought, grind it out game. The stats and the style of play say take the under, but we’re rocking the over here. Guard play pushes guard play and the Red Storm find a way to pull out a battle 71 – 66.
Teaser: Colorado -3.5/Oregon -2.5:
UC Santa Barbara has looked stellar, playing almost everyone in the country close this season. They’ve also blown some 14 – 15 point losses, on the road. Going up to Oregon is one of the toughest tasks in basketball. The Ducks have an elite guard in Joseph Young, and an up & coming star in Dillon Brooks. There’s too much firepower at home for UCSB.
Depaul just went out to Corvallis and got bashed by 40. Now granted, they’ll be a much more efficient squad at home, than they are on the road. This won’t be an easy one, but Depaul plays no defense. If you’ve seen Colorado, at all this year, you know they defend for 94 feet, and they have fantastic length. Aski Booker will be the difference for the Buffs. Oregon 71 – UCSB 64; Colorado 72 – Depaul 64.
Providence vs. Miami Over 131:
You have to love these holiday hoops tournament games! Playing in the primetime lights of Brooklyn, we’re talking zero letdown here. Both teams will be amped to prove something. Miami, coming off a 30 point drubbing to EASTERN KENTUCKY, will show up like never before. Always expect a bounce back, after a terrible performance like that. Providence has historically played well in their Big East matchups in the Big Apple. We can’t see why the Friars won’t bring it here. It’s really hard to tell who will win this one, we favor Providence, but love the over. Remember, both teams average 70 points a contest, and shoot close to 46% from the floor. Translation: Points on the Board. Providence 79 – Miami 76.
Cal +10 vs. Wisconsin:
This is by no means the lock of the night. If you underestimate Wisconsin, you are insane. The Badgers truly are a National Championship Contender. Wisconsin is 9 deep with guys that defend and score the rock. This pick scares us a bit, but the Badgers haven’t been out of their state for a road game yet! Traveling out to California is a trek, there will be jet lag, Cal has shown they can play anyone close, and there’s no doubt Cal will be amp’d up for this one. Golden Bears don’t win, but we think they can hang around, Wiscy 74 – Bears 65 on a backdoor cover 3.
Syracuse vs. Colgate Under 125:
The scary part of this is if Syracuse actually shows up, they could push this thing over easily, because of the blowout that could ensue. The thing of this is Colgate already struggles to score. They average around 63 points a night. They haven’t played a defense as long and athletic as Syracuse all season. They’re not getting any high % looks against that zone, at the Carrier Dome. We’re banking on Syracuse showing up sluggish, after a debilitating meltdown against a Villanova team they had beat. As long as Syracuse doesn’t drop 80 we should be okay. Final score Syracuse 72 – Colgate 50.