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.