NCAAB 12/23

UNLV +13 vs. Arizona:
This is a tough task, considering how fantastic Arizona is on the defensive end.  The one thing we don’t like has been the, up and down, inconsistency on the offensive end for the Wildcats.  Arizona didn’t look anymore spectacular on the road against UTEP.  UNLV has a flat out net scorcher in Rashad Vaughan.  Playing in Vegas we expect Arizona to get the Rebels’ best shot.  Stat of the day, the road team in these contests is 0 – 4 – 1 in their last 5 Against The Spread.  Arizona wins 71 – 63 in Vegas.

George Mason +5.5 @ Wright State:
Two extremely even teams, and yes the home team is getting the points, simply because they’re at home.  The beauty of this one is we already have proof from George Mason that they’re ready to go for these types of contests.  The Patriots already put up hard fought contests against Old Dominion and UNI, in similar scenarios.  George Mason steals this one on the road 68 – 63 Patriots.

BYU -9.5 vs. UMASS:

BYU shoots the rock fantastically at home.  You’re looking at a UMASS team that couldn’t hang with Providence at MSG.  Now they’re going to travel out to Utah and put up a great performance?  One of the most boring places to play in the country?  The Cougars take this one big, as travel and the Holidays is proving too much for UMASS.  BYU 85 – UMASS 70.

Teaser of the Day: Dayton -1/Texas -5.5:

Texas is one of the deepest, most athletic teams, in the country.  Stanford can put up points, as can the Longhorns.  Too much Isaiah Taylor for the Cardinal.  Texas wins 78 – 68.  We like the over the most in that contest.  Dayton and Georgia Tech should be close, which makes us wonder if pushing the Yellowjackets up to 11 would’ve been smarter.  That being said, Dayton is stellar at home, and Jordan Sibert has been dominant this season.  We’re riding the Flyers at home for the win.

Texas vs. Stanford Over 126.5:

Both teams are putting up over 70 points, per game.  Stanford doesn’t have the size that Texas does, which means easy buckets for the Longhorns.  Points might be tough to come by for the Cardinal, but we know Chasson Randle will get his.  We think Texas is too much for Stanford.  Texas scores 80 in this one, which makes the over a safe play.  Texas 81 – Stanford 58.

Louisville vs. Cal State Northridge Under 138.5:

There’s alot to love about this pick.  First of all, no Montrezl Harrell on the floor.  The Cardinals best scorer, defender, and all around player will be out.  There’s an impact loss on the scoring end, we don’t care who they’re playing.  Secondly, Northridge struggles to score against most teams.  The Matadors only put up about 66 points a night, currently.  This is Louisville they’re playing.  Rick Pitino will have his boys pressing end to end.  If the length and athleticism won’t stop the easy buckets (which it will), the fatigue of running the floor for 40 straight minutes will.  The only small worry is if louisville decides to drop 90 points on the board.  Otherwise, we don’t expect CSN to even put up 60.  Louisville wins 85 – 48.

 

 

 

NCAAB 12/22

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.

 

NCAAB 12/20

Kentucky -14 vs. UCLA:

Take it from a UCLA fan, this is the absolute hardcore lock of the weekend.  UCLA scores points, against the Cal State Northridge’s of the world.  Kentucky is one of the longest, most athletic teams, in the country.  UCLA plays absolutely no defense and has no ability to impact Kentucky’s scorers.  At the end of the day, too many easy buckets for the Wildcats is the problem.  Kentucky wins 85 – 62.

SMU +1.5 @ Michigan:
Something is seriously wrong in Ann Arbor.  The Wolverines aren’t just in a funk, they aren’t even competitive right now.  You’re looking at a team that got blasted by 30 against a good Arizona team.  They can’t even beat Eastern Michigan at home.  SMU is riding a 5 game win streak, granted against lesser competition, but until Michigan can beat the New Jersey Institute of Technology, how can we logically pick them over a Larry Brown SMU squad?  SMU 63 – Michigan 54.

Louisville -12.5 vs. Western Kentucky:

Yeah, finals week means absolutely jack shit to a team like Louisville.  These guys are here to play basketball not study.  You’re looking at a Western Kentucky team that got blasted by Minnesota by 20 + points.  Louisville has had a week to prepare for this one.  It’s been sort of an every other game type thing for the Cardinals.  They didn’t show up last week, we love Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier to show up with authority.  Louisville blasts Western Kentucky 75 – 50.

Ohio State +1 @ UNC:

Ohio State is proving early on that they’re a contender to win the Big Ten Title.  OSU has length, quickness, and athleticism all over their back court.  UNC is too much of a one man team right now.  This game should be back and forth with Carolina getting more from Tokoto and Meeks at home, than usual.  But we’ll take the team that plays more physical defense.  Ohio State win 70 – 68 on in Chapel Hill.

Syracuse +11.5 @ Nova:
There’s no logical reason to take the Orange with the way they’ve played this season.  Syracuse is one of the worst 3 point shooting teams in the country and Villanova defends at an incredible clip.  Both teams have had a week to prepare for this one and Syracuse knows everything about how Villanova plays, as does Nova about the ‘Cuse.  We think the Syracuse zone turns this into one heck of an ugly basketball game.  Nova wins 56 – 49 in a struggle.

Indiana +3 @ Butler:

One win over North Carolina, a team that’s really inconsistent, and everybody’s back riding the Butler train.  The last loss to Tennessee was not impressive.  College Basketball games are won in the back court.  We get Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. , as the more athletic back court.  Butler at home is always tough, and we’re sure Kellen Dunham will shoot well, but there’s too much for the Bulldogs in this one.  Hoosiers win 75 – 63.

Notre Dame -2.5 vs. Purdue:
The Irish are one of the hottest shooting teams in the country, led by Jerian Grant.  Purdue has all the talent in the world, but they haven’t put it together to date this season.  We’ll go with the team that’s reached their potential versus the team that’s blown a few games they shouldn’t have.  Irish make less mistakes and that’s the difference.  Irish 85 – Purdue 78.

Xavier -5 vs. Auburn:
Xavier’s been playing together and playing well all season.  Now Bruce Pearl’s finally starting to get some of his boys back, but not in time to have the chemistry and pure shooting Xavier has, yet.  It’s hard to pick an Auburn team that can’t beat Tulsa or Coastal Carolina.  Xavier 74 – 60.

Northern Iowa +2 @ Iowa:

The one thing we know about Ben Jacobsen teams is they play the more disciplined brand of basketball.  UNI is off to one of the best starts in the country, whereas Iowa can’t shoot from the outside and they play inconsistent defense, at best.  We’ll take the smarter, more cohesive, team.  UNI pulls the road upset 74 – 70.

West Virginia -1.5 @ NC State:

The Mountaineers defense is too stifling for an up and down Wolfpack squad.  West Virginia is our surprise team of the year in the Big 12.  We think they’re on their way to a top 4 finish behind ISU, Kansas, & Texas.  West Virginia gets a big road win 68 – 62.

Oklahoma -6 vs. Washington:
Washington’s a solid team, at home!  Just like Okahoma’s a terrible team, on the road!  At home the Sooners are world beaters, and they’ve got the athleticism to prove it.  Time and place is everything in sports.  Boomers sooner at home, with a huge travel day for the Dawgs, we’ll take Buddy Hield and Boomer Sooner.  Okie wins 83 – 72.

BYU -3.5 vs. Stanford:
Stanford really hasn’t show anything all season, or given us any reason to believe they’ll go on the road and get a big win.  BYU is fantastic at home, as usual.  Their loss to Utah doesn’t hurt, as Utah is one of the best teams in the country this season.  BYU handles their business at home 85 – 77.

 

NCAAB 12/19

St. John’s -6.5 vs. St. Mary’s:

St. John’s has a 3 headed monster in D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer, and Phil Greene IV.  You have to love teams that defend end to end, play physical basketball, and have superior guard play.  St. Mary’s really hasn’t proven much, other than an overtime win over a Creighton squad that’s really inconsistent.  Too much athleticism on the SJU side for a St. Mary’s team that can’t beat Northern Arizona.  St. Mary’s also has to travel to MSG, where the Red Storm are fantastic.  Too much travel and not enough athleticism for the Gaels.

Clemson @ South Carolina Over 126.5:

South Carolina has shown improvement all season.  Sindarius Thornwell has been hot in dropping 13 a night and 6 boards.  The GameCocks have averaged almost 80 ppg, over the last 3 games, including a win over Okie State.  We’ve believe Frank Martin’s team has found itself offensively, and would expect nothing less against a big, instate, rival.  This one’s too close to call from a spread perspective, because either could happen with the way Clemson likes to defend.  We’re riding with the home team though 71 – 62 in a nice over.  Don’t mess with the spread in this one.

Arizona -6.5 @ Utep/Over 132.5:
Vegas must know something we don’t in this one.  Tim Floyd teams are extremely well coached, and going on the road is never easy.  Vince Hunter will definitely get his points against the Wildcats.  The length and athelticism on the Arizona size can be matched by very few.  The easier play here is the points, because both teams like to run and gun in averaging well over 70 points per game.  We like the more talented team to cover the -6.5, but definitely take the over.

Teaser of the Night: Arizona -1.5/St. John’s -1.5

See above.

Tennessee Tech +14 @ Tennessee:
Another what we’d call “timing” game.  Tech’s averaging a lofty amount of points on the season.  That being said, Tennessee will play a defensive style that will take Tech out of their comfort zone.  Tech is talented enough to play with the likes of an Alabama within 2 points, on the road, they can do the same at Tennessee, who is very similar.  The big difference is this is Tech’s super bowl and they’ve had 4 days to prepare for it.  The Vols come back home on 1 day’s rest, after losing a hard fought, fast paced, game at NC State.  The Vols win, but on tired legs.  Vols 74 – Tech 63.

Colorado State -3.5 @ Denver:
Straight gut shot pick of the night.  Not tons of logic, or stats behind this one.  Colorado State looks like the class of the Mountain West right now.  They’re extremely well coached, and improving, under Larry Eustachy.  Just seems like too much for Denver.  At the end of the day, we’re going with the Rams for the win.  CSU takes this one 70 – 61.  Don’t bet your house on it, but we’ve got a gut feeling on it.

NCAAB 12/18

Cleveland State +19 @ Virginia:

It seems like suicide betting against Virginia.  You’re talking about one of the deepest, best defending teams in the country.  Timing is absolutely perfect for this game though.  Virginia will surely overlook Cleveland State a bit, and it’s exam week.  The Cavs have barely been able to fit in practices between finals and trying to get away for a day or two during the Holidays.  Cleveland State played a low scoring drag out game with a Louisville team that may be the most athletic team in the country.  We’ll get a similar type of ugly ball game here where the Vikings can hang around.  Virginia 65 – Cleveland State 50.

South Alabama +14.5 @ Richmond:

Just a gut feeling on this one, but if you look at all their past games Richmond is a borderline very good team.  They are close to beating solid teams like UNI, NC State, etc.  But they aren’t there yet, and while South Alabama has struggled to win games, they’ve been competitive in all.  In fact, USA has not lost a single game by more than 13 points this season.  That includes a 12 point loss to Miami.  For those of you that don’t know that’s a perfect 7 – 0 against this spread line.  We’ll take those odds.  South Alabama hangs around within 15 in a 69 – 60 loss.

Duke -10.5 vs. Uconn:

Nobody rallies the troops like Uconn.  The scary part of this, as well, is Ryan Boatright has the ability to carry Uconn throughout this one.  We feel like there’s too much Jahlil Okafor and too much Justice Winslow for Duke to blow this game though.  End of the day, there’s firepower all over Duke, and Uconn doesn’t have the length of the Dukies.  We’ll take the Blue Devils in a close cover 76 – 65.  If you’re at all IFFY, follow our teaser below, it’s the much safer play.

Teaser of the Night: Ole Miss -3/Duke -5.5:

Ole Miss can still score the rock, as well as ever.  The Rebs still have their issues on defense, but they’ve proven they can play good teams well.  Wins over Creighton and Oregon definitely prove that.  Coastal Carolina hasn’t shown us anything.  A very average UCLA team blew them out by 13, and their best win is Auburn, who is awful.  We’ll ride the home team to cover and knock the more athletic Duke squad down to 5.5.

Depaul +6 @ Oregon State:

All the Vegas odds numbers have this game as a 1 – 2 point game.  Depaul’s lack of defense is always an area of concern, but Oregon State has offensive woes like you can’t believe.  We like the talent on Depaul to a much greater degree.  If this were neutral we’d be picking the Blue Demons all day.  We don’t feel like home court is worth what the oddsmakers are giving the Beavers.  We’ll take value in the points, and actually expect the big road upset.  Depaul wins 73 – 56.

NCAAB 12/17

Tennessee +5.5 @ NC State:

Not that they are great wins, but the Vols are starting to find their form in wins over Kansas State and Butler.  NC State may very well bounce back for a big win after playing poorly against Wofford.  We think a loss like that is not only deflating, but Tennessee plays a solid zone where NC State has really struggled to get inside scoring.  Unless the Wolfpack shoot lights out from outside, the Vols have a nice shot.  Value here in Tennessee.  Not the easiest pick of the night, but Vols cover in a 65 – 61 loss.

Arkansas State +13 @ Mississippi State:
Sure the Red Wolves have a 40 point loss to Purdue on the road, which is scary, but the Bulldogs are not Purdue!  You’re looking at a team on a 3 game losing streak, that includes a loss to Tulane!  Arkansas State has shown the ability to play with an upper echelon Mid-Major squad, in Toledo.  Red Wolves lose, on the road, but lack of confidence in Mississippi State isn’t lifting anytime soon.  Red Wolves lose 61 – 50.

Detroit -3 @ UCF:

Detroit’s shown signs of life all season in close losses to Oregon, Michigan, and Wichita State.  Detroit already won a game exactly like this over a South Florida team that’s scarily similar.  UCF is coming off a 13 point loss to FLORIDA ATLANTIC, and on a 3 game losing streak.  There’s no confidence in Knight country right now.  We’re going with the better team, down in Florida for their Christmas vacation.  Detroit 70 – UCF 62.

UIC +18.5 @ SMU:

Illinois Chicago has been playing better basketball lately, and while SMU may be finding their way there’s just too many points here.  The only scary aspect is the level of travel for UIC.  That being said, SMU has had issues scoring all season, though they do play great defense.  Stat of the night: SMU is 1 – 8 on the season in covering an 18.5 point spread, and they have played plenty of cupcakes along the way.  UIC covers in a 79 – 64 loss.

San Diego State -1.5 @ Cincinnati:

Both teams play fantastic defense, and if you’re a fan of defense, grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy.  We wouldn’t touch the over/under with a ten foot pole here.  The difference in this is talent.  San Diego State is more athletic, longer, and purely not intimidated to play on the road at Cincinnati.  Despite a bad loss at Washington, we like the Aztecs, who have proven they have the ability to beat teams like Arizona, BYU, and Utah.  This will come down to the wire, because it’s at Cincy, but Steve Fisher’s boys prove they are a perennial sweet 16 team for a reason.  Aztecs 58 – Cincinnati 53.

Sparty -13 vs. Eastern Michigan:

MSU has found it’s groove the last few games, popping in almost 90 points, per game.  Eastern Michigan has had a week to get ready for Sparty, after its huge upset of Michigan.  The Maize n Blue are not Sparty though.  We’re expecting some lag from EMU, after a big win and a long layover.  Sparty will be fully prepared after seeing what the Eagles did to their instate rival.  Too much preparation, and too much Denzel Valentine/Travis Trice.  Sparty wins on a big second half, 77 – 58 MSU.

Baylor vs. New Mexico State Over 133:

The one thing New Mexico State loves to do is press and play fast.  They’ll have a lot of trouble doing that against Baylor, especially a Baylor team that is built on defense this year.  That being said, the Bears are about as boneheaded on the floor as they ever were.  No doubt the more athletic team gets sucked into the pace of this game and takes advantage of the layups and threes NMSU will allow.  The Aggies can score, as well.  They’re averaging 73 points, per game right now.  The line is set about perfectly, but the speed and fouls lend itself to the over.  Final score Baylor 76 – NMSU 65.

Auburn vs. Winthrop Under 138.5:
It takes two teams to cover a spread, and surprisingly, Winthrop is the team that can score.  Auburn probably pulls out a win, for a change, in this one, but there’s value all over the under in this one.  You’re looking at an Auburn team that has posted point totals in 5 out of their 8 games played, of 59, 35, 44, 54, and 61.  At some point, it’s not a slump, it’s a reality.  Bruce Pearly teams are usually known for some defensive intensity, as well.  Granted, Winthrop can’t stop much, but there’s alot of value in the under here.  It’s hard to see both teams put up 70 points, a piece, here.

UNO -3.5 vs. Northern Colorado:

A long ways to travel and a UNO team that beat Marquette, has played Nebraska close, and played Air Force close.  Alot is riding against a Northern Colorado team that struggled with both it’s instate rivals.  Home court favors the winner in this one, as both teams are similar, but slightly more talent on the Mavericks’ side.

Ohio State -33 vs. North Carolina A & T:

Huge spreads, always recipe for disaster.  Look at UNA&T though!  We’re looking at a 1 – 9 team with losses to Howard and Bradley!  Old Dominion knocked these guys out of the water by 27 points.  Ohio State’s athleticism is on another planet.  OSU plays tons of defense and they also like to press a bit.  Too much pressure and rampant turnovers will be a problem.  Thad Motta teams, rarely, let off the gas pedal, either.  OSU wins in a runaway 95 – 54.

NCAAB 12/16

Oakland @ Arizona Over 143.5:

The only small concern in this game is Arizona’s size inside.  The Wildcats have tons of length and athleticism to bother Oakland’s scoring.  The positive is both teams love to run, and there’s simply no way Oakland can match up with the athleticism of Arizona in transition.  Translation: easy 3’s and dunks for Arizona.  Oakland popped in 61 against a better defensive Michigan State team, and has been averaging around 75ppg for the season.  Sparty tries to control pace and make games ugly.  That’s not the Arizona style.  Take the over in this one Arizona 92 – Oakland 65.

Alabama +13 @ Wichita State:
This is our lock of the night.  Wichita State is no doubt talented, but they aren’t as deep as seasons past.  You’re looking at a team that struggled with the likes of Seton Hall and Detroit the past two weeks.  Stat of the night:  Alabama has played Wichita 3 straight seasons.  The Tide have won, or covered 13 points in all 3 meetings. Anthony Grant teams are similar to Greg Marshall teams, they play disciplined, sound basketball.  The Tide’s only losses to Xavier and Iowa State were well played games that covered this exact spread.  We’ll take Bama’ to cover.  WSU wins 70 – 65.

VCU -13 vs. Belmont:

The numbers are kind of skewed in this one.  If you went off of previous numbers you’d say Belmont is the play here.  The Bruins have covered on the road in 6 of their last 7 games, while VCU is 0 – 5 against the spread in their last 5 home games.  The problem here is this isn’t the Belmont of old.  They’re down a couple players to injuries, and they really don’t have the scoring or defensive depth of past.  Belmont’s best win on the year is over 3 – 3 Ohio.  They’ve bashed Lipscombe twice.  VCU not only returns most of it’s core pieces from their perennial tourney runs, but they’ve played better competition all year.  The Rams have already seen Tennessee, Oregon, Villanova, UNI, Virginia, and a 7 – 1 Old Dominion squad.  We just feel VCU is deeper.  Belmont plays little defense.  At home, VCU’s frantic pace should push this game out of control.  VCU won by 13 at Belmont a year ago, against a better Belmont squad.  Rams win 87 – 70.

Marquette -3 vs. Arizona State:

The value probably lies in the sun devils, as the talent on the floor is very even for both sides.  Marquette’s proving they are getting better and better under Coach Wojo though.  The Golden Eagles hung with a very good Wisconsin squad last outing.  They also have wins over Georgia Tech and Tennessee.  They even have some good, close losses to Sparty and Ohio State.  That tough schedule and continue’d improvement, combined with the fact that ASU has to travel to Milwaukee, is why we’re going with Marquette.  Travel lag will be huge in this one.  Matt Carlino will light it up at the Bradley Center.  Golden Eagles win 65 – 54.

UNC Greensboro +22 vs. North Carolina:
This is the absolute perfect time to bet on a big spread against the tar heels.  Greensboro hasn’t lost a game by more than 10 this season, let alone 22.  This will also be their super bowl, being that it’s on their home floor.  They’d love nothing better than to knock off the Big Dog of the state.  UNC only goes as Marcus Paige goes, and even when he’s going, no one else is getting involved in the flow of the offense.  Not to mention UNC should have lag off of a tough loss to Kentucky.  Even better is this is a sandwich game where UNC will be looking ahead to their big matchup with Ohio State.  UNC wins 84 – 71.  Not even close to a cover though.

Oklahoma -16 vs. Oral Roberts:

There’s a few scary things about this.  One, it’s an instate game, so you know Oral Roberts will be giving it their all.  Two, Oklahoma may let down knowing how superiorly talented they are.  Three Oral Roberts is roasting the nets lately, to the tune of 80 + points over their last two contests.  That being said, Oklahoma is clicking on all cylinders.  You’re looking at a team that’s 9 players deep in pure scorers, and they like to get out and run.  The other issue is Oral Roberts is playing is 3rd game in 4 days.  At some point, fatigue has to play a factor.  Now the first half may be close, but we have to think the up and down of the Sooners wears out ORU into the second half.  Sooners run away late 85 – 64.

NCAAB 12/10

Kansas +2.5 @ Georgetown:

The wrong team is getting points in this match up.  Home court, or no home court Kansas has played a tougher schedule and gotten better, because of it.  The loss of Jamari Traylor will hurt, but Kansas has a decided advantage on the wings.  Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander should have a “hay day” in this one.  We’ve never loved Josh Smith’s production at UCLA and it’s not much better at Georgetown.  The Hoyas control the pace in this one, but the better team finds a way to win 66 – 56 Kansas.

Rhode Island +3.5 @ Providence:

An absolutely perfect time to go with the Rams.  Providence is faltering after a 3 game losing streak, including a recent loss to Brown!  Rhode Island has more to prove and more to play for.  We love what Dan Hurley brings to this Rhode Island squad.  Rhode Island will find their way into this year’s NCAA tournament and this is the first stepping stone on their way to an improved season.  Rams win a nail biter 82 – 79.

Fresno State +9.5 @ Texas Tech:
The worry here is how terrible Fresno has been on the road, but for every minute of bad road play we’ve seen from Fresno Texas Tech has been even less impressive at home.  Something has to give in this one.  Texas Tech has 1 and 2 point wins, at home, over Air Force and Auburn.  We just feel 9.5 is too many points given to a Fresno team that could hang within 7 of a high flying Cal team.  A Cal squad, mind you, that beat Syracuse this season.  Bulldogs cover on the 66 – 58 Red Raiders.

Penn State vs. Duquesne Under 152.5:
D.J. Newbill will, most likely, have a three point fest on the Duques.  That being said, there’s not enough talent on either side to warrant picking the over here.  Penn State has always put a premium on defense and neither side shoots well enough.  This line is completely off.  Play it as the game of the night under.  Penn State 74 – Duquesne 64.

Utah @ BYU Over 146.5:

Both teams play fast and BYU can flat out shoot at home.  Utah has put up 90 plus points in 2 of their past 3 contests.  BYU has put up 90 plus points in their past 3 contests.  BYU is also number one in the country in points scored, averaging 94 points per game!  Don’t expect the pace to slow down for this rivalry.  There’s athletes all over the floor, both teams shoot at a high efficiency rate, and there will be fouls down the stretch, as each team wants this game badly.  Final score BYU pulls off the big win 89 – 85 at home.

Colorado -5.5 vs. Colorado State:
It’s the perfect scenario for Colorado to show up and play well.  Coming off a tough loss to a solid Georgia team, the Buffs not only get a home game, but it’s against their biggest rival.  The Buffs loaded up their schedule whereas Colorado State has played virtually no one.  Both teams are coached well and Larry Eustachy knows how to put a good squad on the floor, but the length of Colorado is the difference here.  Buffs play more enthused and their improved defense wins this one.  Buffs 72 – Rams 63.

Cal -3 vs. Wyoming:
This is an extreme trapdoor game.  Larry Nance Jr. and Wyoming are much better than many anticipated.  Their large victory over Colorado was no fluke.  There’s a couple reasons we like the Bears.  One reason is it’s a contrast of styles, fast pace versus slow and defensive.  Cal is at home.  They’re going to shoot better and have the home court crowd advantage.  Cal has already seen a longer, more athletic defense, in Syracuse (at MSG we might add), and Cal handled the Orange Men easily.  While Wyoming will provide a formidable test, Cal pulls away 71 – 56 at home.

UCLA -17 vs. UC Riverside:

UCLA presses the pace too fast for a very poor UC Riverside team.  Steve Alford teams are fantastic front runners and there’s no reason to believe they won’t be here.  UCLA beat the best team in Riverside’s conference (Long Beach State) by 14, and blasted Fullerton by 30.  Riverside falls somewhere in between those two.  We’ll take the Bruins to win this sucker by about 24.  Bruins 88 – 64.

Gonzaga -22 vs. Washington State:
This seems absolutely absurd with a school as big as Washington State, but the Zags are on another planet than the Cougs.  Gonzaga is one of the deepest teams in America and they play fantastic team defense.  Washington State is a one trick pony in Davonte Lacy.  The Zags are ten deep in scorers and we feel it’s too much to overcome on the road.  Remember, TCU, who is nothing special, blasted the Cougs by 30, as did UC Santa Barbara.  A 15 point lead at half, explodes in the second half for 90 – 55 win.

UNI -2.5 @ Denver:
The travel aspect of this game is getting too much love.  Denver hasn’t proven that they can beat anyone decent, home or away.  UNI is not a team to be messed with.  Ben Jacobson’s squad has depth at guard and wing play.  Too much disciplined, consistent play for the Panthers.  UNI will be an NCAA tourney team this year, and it shows on the road more than ever.  Panthers 73 – Pioneers 64.

 

12/9 NCAAB

Villanova -5.5 vs. Illinois:

Illinois is vastly improved this year and should make a nice run to the NCAA tourney, but there’s too much working against the Illini in this one.  One the Illini go as Rayvonte Rice goes.  Villanova is one of the best defensive teams in basketball, and they know Rice is Illinois’ one trick pony.  Rice makes Illinois’ offense go, and Egwu should have an advantage inside.  Too much guard play from Ennis and Archidiaccono in this one.  The X-Factor is this game’s at the Garden.  This is home away from home for the Wildcats.  No Big Ten team is traveling to the Garden and beating a team of this caliber in their home court.  A close game throughout and ‘Nova pulls away late for a 73 – 60 win.

Baylor vs. Texas A & M Over 119.5:

Pretty simple here.  Baylor puts up almost 68 points, per game.  Texas A & M averages almost 73.  Even though, both teams play slower than we’d like there’s too much talent on the floor not to hit the over.  This game will be close, bettors are expecting a 5 – 6 point spread, that’s perfect for fouls down the stretch.  a 55 – 55 game with 4 minutes to play pushes over with some late fouls.  Final Score Baylor 65 – A & M 59.

Xavier vs. IUPUI Over 145.5:

Xavier just found their groove again against Alabama, after a couple mis-steps on the season.  Xavier can get points inside from Stainbrook, as well as an array of 3 point shooting from Myles Davis and Travon Blueitt.  Normally, we wouldn’t touch a game this highly priced, but coming off a 97 point performance against Alabama, what’s Xavier going to do to IUPUI at home??!!!  The Musketeers average 85 points, per game.  They go well over that in this one.  Final score Xavier 95 – IUPUI 60.

South Dakota +16.5 @ Creighton:

The Coyotes have had 4 days to prepare for this one and they won’t come out unprepared to play.  In 9 games this year the Coyotes have hung within 12 points, or better, against every team they’ve played, including a loss to Stanford.  Creighton is extremely tough at home, but we like the Coyotes to hang within the 16.5.  Creighton hasn’t bashed anybody since early November and a close win over Nebraska and a bad loss at Tulsa don’t impress.  Final score Creighton 76 – SDAK 62.

Alcorn State @ Iowa Under 141.5:

The old adage is it takes two teams to cover an over.  Granted, Alcorn State is scoring almost 70 points, per game so you can’t love that, but there are a couple great things about this game.  One, Iowa is a terrible 3 point shooting team.  The hawks will play fast and the will get layups in this one.  One thing you have to like is Iowa’s renewed sense of defense though.  Against lesser competition Hampton, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Pepperdine, Longwood, and UMBC (very similar to Alcorn State) Iowa gave up an average of 45 points per contest!  In their last 5 games they’re giving up an average of 56 points per contest.  You couple that with the fact that the Hawks are shooting 42% from the field, on the year and the under looks really solid.  Lock this in as the play of the night.  Hawks 80 – Alcorn 53.

Louisville vs. Indiana Over 141:

We actually lean toward Lousville -12 here, but feel the over is the safer play.  First of all, Indiana is toward the bottom of the country in points allowed, even though they are 3rd in the nation in points scored.  Don’t expect the Hoosiers to get easy buckets against Louisville.  We don’t bet on Yogi Ferrell putting up 18 against the length of Montrezl Harrell.  That being said Indiana only knows how to play fast and that leads right into the hands of easy buckets for Louisville.  This game will be crazy fast, with tough buckets to come by for Indiana.  The X-Factor is always hot shooting.  We feel Indiana makes just enough 3’s to hang around and push the over.  Final Score Louisville 80 – Indiana 65.

NCAAB 12/8

North Dakota +22.5 @ Minnesota:
The Gophers are much improved this season, but the line is too big in this one.  North Dakota has already proven they can play with teams not far off the Gophers’ level.  Travel won’t be a factor at all in this one and frankly the Gophers aren’t in the class of a team like Utah (who absolutely blasted the Sioux).  Minnesota only managed to beat Maryland Baltimore-County by 18.  We think the Gophers come out flat in this one and pull away in the second half.  Final score Gophers 79 – North Dakota 60.

Yale +10 @ Florida:
This could be a trap as we really like how Florida performed against Kansas last week.  The Gators could definitely be headed for an upswing and there’s no doubt they are on another athletic playing field than Yale is.  That being said, Yale has proven all season they have the moxy and shooting to play with anyone.  As crazy as this sounds, take Yale to keep this close.  A late Yale three pointer back door’s this win.  Florida 59 – Yale 51.