|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|04-04-22||North Carolina v. Kansas -4||Top||69-72||Loss||-110||20 h 14 m||Show|
For the second half of the Miami game and first half against Villanova, Kansas pretty clearly looked like the best team in the country. They outscored those two opponents 87-44 over that 40 minute span. Now you may consider that to be “cherry picking” the best of the Jayhawks. But at no point in this NCAA Tournament have I ever believed they were in real danger of being eliminated.
North Carolina trailed at the half in the Sweet 16 and Final Four. They also were taken to overtime by Baylor after blowing a 25-point lead. The Tar Heels were an 8-seed coming into this Tournament, so few expected them to get this far. This is the fourth time in six games where the Heels are underdogs. I think their run ends Monday.
Let’s start with an update on the ankle injury to UNC’s Armando Bacot. Coach Hubert Davis has dubbed him “ready to play,” but having your leading scorer and rebounder injured going into the biggest game of the season is not ideal. Bacot also leads the Tar Heels in blocks and field goal percentage.
I expect David McCormack of Kansas to take advantage of Bacot being less than 100 percent. McCormack went for a season-high 25 against Villanova. Also, don’t forget about Ochai Agbaji, who leads the Jayhawks in scoring.
Kansas is more experienced on the bench as Bill Self has been here forever and won a National Championship. North Carolina’s Hubert Davis is a rookie coach. The Jayhawks’ top eight scorers have played in a combined 973 games. They were built for this. Lay the points.
|04-02-22||North Carolina v. Duke -3.5||Top||81-77||Loss||-115||57 h 55 m||Show|
UNC is 4-0 ATS in the tournament and going back to the last couple weeks of the regular season, they are on a 10-1 SU run in their previous 11 games, also going 9-2 against the spread. Duke has covered its last three games after a last second layup by Cal State Fullerton handed the Blue Devils a 1.5 point ATS loss in Round 1.
Both teams were eliminated by Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament. The only other loss for Duke, over their last 15 games, came to North Carolina, in Coach K’s home finale. The final score of that game was 94-81. That was after Duke won the first meeting, 87-67, in Chapel Hill. To say the Blue Devils will be highly motivated to avenge that last loss UNC is putting it mildly.
Duke was clearly the best team in the ACC this year. North Carolina has had a nice run, but it is worth mentioning that they were an 8-seed coming into the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, they are better than how they were seeded, but being an 8-seed shows they are far from the most consistent team.
The Blue Devils are just the better team here. North Carolina could have lost to either Baylor or UCLA, before they got lucky and faced a 15-seed in the Elite 8. I’ve never sensed Duke being in any danger in their tourney run.
While most teams have struggled to find their shot in the NCAA Tournament, Duke hasn’t. The Blue Devils have made over 50% of their field goal attempts and scored at least 78 points in every game.
|04-02-22||Villanova +4.5 v. Kansas||Top||65-81||Loss||-110||54 h 26 m||Show|
Villanova is 4-0 ATS in the tournament. Kansas is 2-2 ATS. Villanova has not trailed at halftime in any game. Kansas, the lone 1-seed left, trailed at the half against Miami in the Elite 8, before putting the clamps down in the second half. In three of their four games thus far, the Jayhawks have allowed less than 20 points in one half. Don’t see that happening against Villanova.
There’s a major edge at the charity stripe for ‘Nova as they are one of the best free throw shooting teams in College Basketball history. Kansas shoots it at just 72% from the FT line.
Jay Wright has fared very well in NCAA Tournament games during his time at Villanova, covering 21 of the last 27. Kansas is 7-20 ATS the previous 27 times they’ve been off a straight-up win by 20 or more points.
Villanova is 8-3 ATS in neutral site games this season. Kansas is just 7-5 ATS. Villanova is also 27-17-2 ATS as an underdog over the last 10 seasons. They have the best overall ATS record in the country during that time.
The last five head to head meetings between Villanova and Kansas have seen ‘Nova cover all five times. They also won four of the games outright, including a National Semifinal in 2018 by a score of 95-78. These teams seem pretty even to me, and even with the Moore injury, I will be taking the points.
|04-01-22||Fresno State v. Coastal Carolina +3||Top||85-74||Loss||-110||11 h 36 m||Show|
I like Coastal Carolina to at least cover, and probably win, The Basketball Classic. They get this game at home where they’ve already won twice in the tournament - by 24 and 16 points. Things were a lot closer when the Chanticleers had to travel to face South Alabama on Monday. But they still came out ahead 69-68 in overtime and that is not an easy place to win at (South Alabama had just two home losses previously).
Fresno State has played all of its games at home for The Basketball Classic and I can’t see them replicating Monday when they waxed Southern Utah by 19 points. That game saw the Bulldogs make more than 50% of their threes while the opponent shot terribly (31.1% overall, 20% from three).
Coastal Carolina is averaging 76.7 points per game at home. They outscore teams by 14.5 PPG here.
Fresno State averages only 63.1 points per game on the road. Their last road win came on February 22nd. It was against a terrible Air Force team. The Bulldogs are the favorites here and I’m not exactly sure why!
Coastal Carolina is at home, will obviously be motivated and getting points. What’s not to like? FSU is 1-4 ATS its last five tries as a favorite.
|03-28-22||Coastal Carolina +3 v. South Alabama||Top||69-68||Win||100||21 h 31 m||Show|
We’re down to the semifinals of “The Basketball Classic” with Coastal Carolina taking on South Alabama. Winner here will meet the winner of Southern Utah vs. Fresno State (also played tonight). I’m taking the dog.
This game is taking place in Mobile, but the home court advantage hasn’t been a big boost to South Alabama so far in this tournament. The previous two games were at home and the Jaguars are 0-2 ATS. They obviously won both, but by a total of only six points.
Will USA shoot 58.8% again like they did last week vs. USC Upstate? Unlikely. Coastal Carolina has held its opponents to 38.4% shooting overall for the season.
The Chanticleers have been far more dominant than South Alabama has in this tournament. CC’s first two wins have been by 24 and 16 points. Going back to the end of the regular season, this is a team that has won five of its last six games.
These teams are conference rivals, both hailing from the Sun Belt. It is a huge revenge opportunity for the underdog, who lost the only regular season matchup - by three points at home. Coastal has lost three in a row to USA, but all three losses were by six points or less. They will be amped for this opportunity to exact revenge.
|03-27-22||St. Peter's +9.5 v. North Carolina||Top||49-69||Loss||-110||9 h 21 m||Show|
St. Peter’s has stunned the College Basketball world by becoming the first 15 seed to make the Elite 8. In addition to upsets over Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue, the Peacocks have covered the spread in 10 straight games. They have not lost a game since Feb 20th at Siena.
Somewhat lost in the Peacocks’ miracle run is the team they’re facing in the Regional Final is an 8-seed. No one expected North Carolina to get here either, even though the Tar Heels have now won 13 of their last 15 games.
With Duke advancing to the Final Four yesterday, EVERYONE is going to be anticipating a Duke-UNC rematch next weekend (UNC handed Duke a humbling loss in Coach K’s final home game).
But St. Peter’s has the better defensive efficiency rating in this matchup. They are top 25 nationally in that regard, which tells me that this run is not all smoke and mirrors. This is a team that just held Purdue, who had the country’s most efficient offense, to 64 points.
The Peacocks may not win, but I’m taking the points. Remember that North Carolina trailed most of the game against UCLA. I don’t see the favorite scoring a ton of points in this matchup.
|03-26-22||Houston -2 v. Villanova||Top||44-50||Loss||-105||27 h 58 m||Show|
Houston is the favorite in this Regional Final, despite being the lower seed, as they have covered six in a row and just dispatched top seeded Arizona. The Cougars appear to be as strong as any team left in the field. They are top ten in offensive AND defensive efficiency. No other team still standing can say that.
Villanova, like Houston, is 3-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve beaten Delaware, Ohio State and Michigan, none of whom were seeded higher than seventh (and the 7-seed Ohio State was basically a pick ‘em vs. 10-seed Loyola Chicago in the first round). ‘Nova’s shooting percentages - both overall and from three - have gone down each game.
This will be only the sixth time where the Wildcats are underdogs this year. They are 1-4 (straight up) previously in the role. Houston is one of the top pointspread teams in the entire country at 25-12 ATS, including 9-1 on a neutral court.
The way Houston dominated Arizona, an elite team, from start to finish cannot be overlooked. All three Houston wins in this tournament have been by double digits. They’ve actually won six straight by double digits.
Defensively, the Cougars are #1 in the country in FG% defense and I think they are going to do an excellent job at limiting Villanova’s threes. Also, look for Houston to continue to clean up on the offensive glass. They’ve collected 10+ offensive rebounds in five straight games. Villanova has allowed 11+ offensive rebounds in five of the last six games, the lone exception coming against Delaware. Lay the points.
|03-25-22||Providence +8 v. Kansas||Top||61-66||Win||100||128 h 30 m||Show|
So Providence has proven a lot of its detractors wrong thus far by turning in two strong efforts here in the NCAA Tournament. First they defeated high-flying South Dakota State 66-57. That one was impressive because they held the second highest scoring team in the nation to almost 30 points less than its season average. Then, in the second round, the Friars really put the clamps down in a 79-51 blowout of Richmond.
Now that was a 13 and a 12 seed that Providence faced. Now they face top seeded Kansas. The Jayhawks have beaten Texas Southern (a 16-seed) and Creighton (who finished several games back of Providence in the Big East). So this is also their stiffest test so far in the Big Dance.
Providence has lost only five games this season and only three times by more than five points. That’s a fewer number of overall losses than Kansas. As an underdog, the Friars are 8-1 against the spread.
Creighton shot well against Kansas, at least from three, where it made 43%. I think Providence is capable of replicating that kind of long-range success. The Friars are 22-1 this season when making at least 30% or better from beyond the arc.
Perfect trend alert: Providence is 8-0 ATS against teams averaging 77 or more points per game. Kansas averages 78.7. I think the Friars will hold the Jayhawks well below their season total, just as they did to South Dakota State and Richmond, both of whom shot under 36 percent. Take the points.
|03-24-22||Texas Tech -1 v. Duke||Top||73-78||Loss||-110||72 h 17 m||Show|
I think we’re about to see the end of a legendary coaching career as this should end up being Coach K’s final time on the bench when Duke faces Texas Tech.
Even though they shot 57.1 percent from the field, the Blue Devils’ 85-76 win over Michigan State in the second round was a little misleading, at least when judged on the final score. Duke trailed with under three minutes to go before closing the game on a 13-2 run. The final four points all came at the free throw line, in the last 16 seconds, giving the Blue Devils the cover.
Duke will not be shooting 57% against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are arguably the best defensive team in the country. They just held Duke’s ACC rival Notre Dame to 32.7% shooting in a 59-53 Round 2 victory.
Texas Tech failed to cover that game as they were laying eight at the betting window. Here we do not need to really be concerned with the pointspread. By the way, the Red Raiders are 18-9 ATS this season when faced with a team that has a winning record.
Duke’s defense has been lousy for about the last two months. Over the last six games, the only team that failed to hit 76 against them was first round opponent Cal State Fullerton. Texas Tech scored 97 in its first round game, so they are more than capable of making the Blue Devils pay at the defensive end.
|03-23-22||Washington State v. BYU -3||Top||77-58||Loss||-105||47 h 25 m||Show|
Washington State and BYU meet in the NIT Quarterfinals on Wednesday, at Provo. BYU has advanced to this point with consecutive 90+ point performances over Long Beach State (93-72) and Northern Iowa (90-72). Both wins came here at home.
Wazzu has gotten to this point mostly with defense, downing Santa Clara (another WCC team) 63-50 and then winning at SMU (which is not easy to do) 75-63. The Cougars were three-point underdogs for that second game.
BYU has lost only two home games this season. One was obviously to Gonzaga, the other was to San Francisco, another NCAA Tournament team. Earlier I talked about BYU’s recent offensive output. Well, they also are allowing only 63.9 points per game at home.
Washington State has played pretty well recently, but is 0-8 against NCAA Tournament teams. BYU is obviously not a NCAA Tournament team, but they were pretty close to being one; I’d say they were one of the top teams that did not get in. I like them as small home favorites.
As for the Cougars, they are just 2-6 ATS off their last eight straight up wins. That was 1-6 ATS off their last seven before upsetting SMU three days ago. BYU has had one more day to get ready for this game.
|03-20-22||Notre Dame v. Texas Tech -7.5||Top||53-59||Loss||-110||11 h 35 m||Show|
Notre Dame has already had to win twice to get here and may very well be on fumes going into this second round matchup against Texas Tech. That’s problematic as this Red Raiders team is legit, as we saw in their complete dismantling of Montana State on Friday.
I had TT in that one. They won 97-62 as a 15-point favorite. The result was never in doubt with the Red Raiders jumping out to a 18-4 lead less than five minutes in. They wound up shooting 66.7% for the game, the fourth highest percentage ever in the first round, and made 12 of 20 threes.
Notre Dame is one of the weaker teams left in the field. Let’s not forget that it took TWO overtimes to get by Rutgers in the “First Four.” Then the Irish got hot themselves against Alabama, shooting 10 of 16 from three-point land.
But Texas Tech is perhaps the top defensive team in the country. They are 1st in the defensive efficiency rankings over at KenPom. Look for them to shut down Notre Dame in this one.
Don’t be concerned about the Red Raiders being unable to follow up an impressive offensive display. They are 4-0 ATS off the previous four games where they scored 90 or more points.
|03-20-22||Houston -4.5 v. Illinois||Top||68-53||Win||100||12 h 56 m||Show|
Illinois barely survived Chattanooga in the first round, not taking the lead until the final minute. But that’s when you want to have the lead and the Illini prevailed 54-53. It was certainly not an impressive performance and I think the Fighting Illini are in trouble here against 5-seed Houston.
Houston made it to the Final Four last season. The Cougars began this year’s tourney run with a dominant 82-68 win over UAB. It’s now eight covers in the last nine games for Kelvin Sampson’s team, who is 30-5 on the year.
Illinois was outrebounded by Chattanooga. That’s a terrible sign. So are the Illini’s offensive numbers from the L4 games, a stretch in which they’ve gone 0-4 against the spread. Three of those games have seen the team score 63 points or less and shoot worse than 40 percent from the field. They made only 3 of 17 three-point attempts against Chattanooga.
Houston averages 76 points per game while giving up an average of just 59.1. They are one of only five teams in the country to rank in the top 20 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency. This is a championship contender.
Illinois has failed to cover each of the last six times they’ve been off a straight up win. Lay the points.
|03-19-22||Memphis +10.5 v. Gonzaga||Top||78-82||Win||100||28 h 11 m||Show|
So, after a sluggish start, Gonzaga was finally able to pull away from 16-seed Georgia State in the first round. The Zags used a 24-1 second half run to put the game away, but still ended up not covering the large 22.5-point spread. (They won 93-72). Once again, in the second round vs. Memphis, I think the spread will prove to be too large.
Memphis has been on a real roll down the stretch. They beat Boise State in the first round 64-53 and covered the three-point spread. The Tigers took control of that game pretty early and never were really threatened after that. They have now won 13 of their last 15 games.
I don’t think Gonzaga can count on the wide shooting discrepancy that they enjoyed vs. Georgia State. They shot 50.7%, which isn’t that atypical, but Georgia State shot just 32.9%. Memphis actually did a better job defensively against Boise State, holding the Broncos to 31.5%.
The defensive improvement we’ve seen from the Tigers, since Penny Hardaway’s infamous press conference in late January, has been substantial. The most points they’ve given up in a game since February is 74. Only three times have they allowed more than 70.
The Tigers are 16-5 ATS their previous 21 tries as an underdog. Grab the points here.
|03-18-22||Delaware v. Villanova -15||Top||60-80||Win||100||90 h 36 m||Show|
Villanova should really smash Delaware here. The Blue Hens made a surprise run through the Colonial Tournament as the 5-seed. Now they are facing the Big East Tournament Champs and one of the best teams in the country. This isn’t exactly a Saturday vs. Northeastern.
‘Nova is 10-1 its last 11 games and that one loss was by two points. They are probably going to make a deep run in this Tournament. Late in the game, when it comes to covering this spread, it is nice that the Wildcats are the #1 team in the country when it comes to making free throws.
Delaware has never won an NCAA Tournament in five previous tries. They are also 0-15 all-time against Villanova. They had lost three straight games entering the CAA Tournament.
Since 2014, Jay Wright’s Wildcats have five wins by 20 or more points as a top two seed in the NCAA Tournament.
On offense, ‘Nova will overwhelm the Delaware. Defensively, the Wildcats allow just 63.1 points per game.
|03-18-22||Montana State v. Texas Tech -15||Top||62-97||Win||100||89 h 31 m||Show|
Look for Texas Tech to have no trouble beating Montana State on Friday. This 3 vs. 14 matchup is a total mismatch.
Texas Tech is #1 in the nation in defensive efficiency. This will serve them well. Montana State normally shoots well, but there’s a big difference in going from facing your typical team out of the Big Sky to the one the Bobcats will face here.
Though Montana State was regular season and conference tournament champs out of the Big Sky, this is their first NCAA Tourney appearance since 1996. Texas Tech, who made the Big 12 Final against Kansas, is a regular in this event. They played for the National Championship, under Chris Beard, in 2019.
The Red Raiders beat every single Big 12 team at least once this year and had two wins over Baylor, a 1-seed. They are also 8-1 ATS off their last nine straight up losses.
Montana State simply will not be able to shoot the three as well as they normally do here. Lay the points.
|03-17-22||New Mexico State +6.5 v. Connecticut||Top||70-63||Win||100||45 h 1 m||Show|
There have been only five years where a 12-seed has never beaten a 5 in the NCAA Tournament. I’d be shocked if it didn’t happen in this Tournament, so why not take the points here with New Mexico State, a team that is 26-6 on the year?
The Aggies have been to the NCAA Tournament before. They made it three straight years from 2017-19. Incredibly, they have lost 11 consecutive first round games, going back to the mid-90s. Eventually, a team is due. This team is better than most previous editions.
UConn has not been good at covering games. They are only 3-11 ATS in their previous 14. During that time, they have only four wins by more than seven points. The Huskies have also not won a NCAA Tourney game since 2016.
New Mexico State has wins over Davidson, Washington State, Cal Irvine and UTEP. So I don’t expect them to be intimidated at all. Their record as an underdog is a perfect 4-0 against the spread.
I have to take the points here in what should be a close matchup throughout.
|03-17-22||South Dakota State v. Providence -2||Top||57-66||Win||100||63 h 27 m||Show|
Providence is much maligned as a four seed as they won a lot of close games and thus probably are not as good as their overall record. But the Friars are being WAY undervalued for their first round matchup vs. 13-seed South Dakota State, a team that plays little in the way of defense.
The underdog Jackrabbits rank 223rd in the country in defensive efficiency. That is second worst among ALL tournament teams.
Not that a team needs any added motivation to win in March Madness, but the way Providence exited the Big East Tournament - an 85-58 loss to Creighton - should have them ready to go here.
This is tied for the shortest spread ever in a 4 vs. 13 matchup. The Friars will take it as a sign of disrespect.
While South Dakota State has not lost a game since Dec 15, the conference that they play in (Summit) is weak. The Jackrabbits live and die by the three, so thankfully Providence can hang its hat on the fact they are allowing just 31.2 percent shooting from long range. Lay the short number.
|03-13-22||Richmond v. Davidson -3.5||Top||64-62||Loss||-110||6 h 38 m||Show|
Davidson, win or lose today, is probably safe when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament. However, that doesn’t mean the A-10 regular season champs and top seed won’t be motivated to defeat Richmond on Sunday. I’m laying the points as fatigue is probably going to be a factor for the underdog here.
Richmond will be playing its fourth game in as many days. Going back to Thursday, the Spiders rallied back from a 14-point halftime deficit to get past Rhode Island. Since then, they’ve upset the #3 (VCU) and #2 (Dayton) in this tournament. It’s a big ask for them to now take out Davidson, who has been the best team in the conference this season.
Davidson has only had to win two games to get here and wasn’t really challenged in either. The Wildcats were 18-point winners over Fordham in the quarterfinal round, then 15-point winners over St. Louis in the semis. In both games, they jumped out to big leads by halftime and never looked back.
Richmond was again down at the half in yesterday’s game vs. Dayton. In fact, they were down as many as 14 in the second half, with just over 13 minutes remaining. The Spiders did not take the lead for good until less than two minutes remained.
Davidson is the better team and has had the easier path to get here. They won at Richmond, 87-84, in the only regular season matchup. I believe Richmond’s defense will crack here against a Davidson offense that is Top 10 in the country in offensive efficiency.
|03-12-22||Creighton v. Villanova -6.5||Top||48-54||Loss||-110||11 h 36 m||Show|
Creighton turned in an incredible performance yesterday in its semifinal win over Providence. They won 85-58. It was the largest loss for a #1 seed in Big East Tournament history. Providence couldn’t make anything, going 3 of 24 from three and shooting just 30% overall.
I think it’s important to note that Providence seemed to be overrated and to remember that - with no starters back from last year’s Sweet 16 team - Creighton was picked to finish eighth in the Big East this year. Thanks to yesterday, their 9th win in the last 11 games, the Bluejays are all but assured of making the NCAA Tournament.
Thus, the motivation may not be there on Saturday against Villanova, a supremely talented team that is the best in the Big East. ‘Nova beat UConn Friday, 63-60, avenging its last loss. Speaking of avenging losses, that’s precisely what the Wildcats did against Creighton the last time the teams met. After Creighton took the first meeting, ‘Nova bounced back with a 34-point win on January 5th.
Villanova is simply the much better team at the offensive end, where it ranks 8th nationally in efficiency.
Creighton is 0-3 all-time in Big East Tournament Finals. They can’t possibly play any better than they did yesterday nor can they count on Villanova shooting as poorly as Providence did. As for the Wildcats, they managed to still win last night despite not making a single field goal in the final five minutes. The favorite doesn’t turn it over and is one of the best free throw shooting teams in NCAA history.
|03-12-22||Texas A&M v. Arkansas -6.5||Top||82-64||Loss||-110||5 h 59 m||Show|
The big shocker in the SEC yesterday was Texas A&M upsetting top seed Auburn, 67-62. The Aggies, as 9-point underdogs, led most of the way and were up by as many as 20! That win greatly improved their NCAA Tournament chances, though another win today may be needed.
Arkansas is in the NCAA Tournament, no matter what, but winning the SEC Championship would be nice. It was an impressive 79-67 win for the Hogs over LSU on Friday, improving their record to 15-2 SU since Jan 8. They have also gone 14-2-1 ATS in that same stretch.
Both regular season meetings between A&M and Arkansas were closely contested. Each team won at home, A&M by five and Arkansas by three. I just don’t think A&M is capable of playing any better than it did yesterday when it made 50% from three at the same time Auburn shot just 30% overall.
The Razorbacks are pretty clearly the better team here and A&M is playing its third game in three days. One of those games saw the Aggies go to overtime. So their tank could be close to empty by the second half today. Arkansas built itself a nice double digit lead in the second half yesterday and thus fatigue should not be a factor at all for them. Lay the points.
|03-11-22||Michigan State v. Wisconsin -2||Top||69-63||Loss||-110||11 h 18 m||Show|
I don’t think you can undersell the importance of the rest advantage here for Wisconsin, in a tough tournament like the Big 10. Michigan State played last night and was taken down to the wire by Maryland, grinding out a 76-72 win.
It shouldn’t have ended up that close for Sparty, who had a 20-point lead over the Terps. Don’t look for MSU to shoot as well here as they did last night when they made 50% overall and 47.4% from three.
Wisconsin should be very eager to take the court tonight after they shockingly lost the home finale, to Nebraska, as 13-point favorites. The Badgers basically trailed the entire way in that game against the last place team in the Big 10.
But at no point this season have the Badgers lost two in a row. They have won a lot of close games. But looking at the number, the possibility of a SU win/ATS loss here is very minimal.
Michigan State has lost 7 of its last 11 games.
|03-11-22||Texas A&M Corpus Christi v. Nicholls State -5||Top||71-64||Loss||-110||11 h 47 m||Show|
Nicholls State is the top seed here in the Southland Tournament and received a double-bye into today’s semifinals. They face Texas A&M-CC, who defeated Houston Baptist by a score of 75-60 yesterday. Texas A&M-CC covered the 5.5-point spot in that game.
Texas A&M-CC has won five of its last six games. But the one loss did come to Nicholls, 86-75 at home. They were swept in the season series, also losing at Nicholls by three. Nicholls has now won the last four head to head meetings and six of the last seven.
Going back to January 27th, Nicholls has lost only two games, both to SE Louisiana, who they very well could end up seeing in tomorrow’s final. The Colonels come in averaging 79.6 points per game, tied for 15th in the country, and have exceeded 80 points in seven consecutive games.
In the two regular season games vs. Texas A&M-CC, Nicholls scored 83 and 86 points.
The Colonels are the best team in the Southland and I just can’t see them being upset here. Not with a rest advantage. Lay the short number.
|03-10-22||Eastern Washington v. Northern Colorado -2||Top||67-68||Loss||-110||14 h 12 m||Show|
Northern Colorado faces Eastern Washington in the 3-6 matchup of the Big Sky Tournament. Eastern Washington played yesterday, beating Northern Arizona 78-75. Northern Colorado had a bye, so they have a distinct advantage that is seemingly not being accounted for (enough) by the oddsmakers.
Eastern Washington has won its last three games, but two of those were against Northern Arizona, who finished last in the Big Sky. Last night’s first round matchup saw the need for a late 9-0 run to take the lead. I just don’t think the Eagles will have much left in the tank for tonight.
Northern Colorado has been off since Saturday’s two point loss at Montana State. A sour taste in their mouth (from losing the last regular season game) will have the Bears highly motivated coming into this one.
Each team won on the other’s court this year, so it was a split of the two regular season meetings. Northern Colorado was a two-point favorite on the road and six point favorite at home, so I feel we are getting a discount (for whatever reason) here.
Northern Colorado has not dropped back to back games in over a month, a stretch of 11 games. I’ll roll with them.
|03-10-22||CS Bakersfield v. Long Beach State -4.5||Top||61-72||Win||100||7 h 12 m||Show|
Long Beach State won the Big West this year with a 12-3 conference record. They finished 18-11 overall. Despite this, the Beach is just a short favorite for its quarterfinal game against a Cal State Bakersfield team that won just two conference games all season! What?
CS-Bakersfield also had to win a game to get here. They advanced out of the first round by defeating Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, 58-45 as a six-point favorite. Even with the day in between games, I don’t see the Roadrunners having much of a chance today. They lost by nine at LBSU in the lone regular season matchup.
LBSU has lost only two games in the previous two months. While they are a bit of a shaky #1 seed, they are clearly better than the #9 seed in this tournament.
Coming into the Big West Tournament, CS-Bakersfield had just one win in its last 13 games! They are 6-16 ATS in lined games this season!
Just can’t make sense of this number from the oddsmakers; the top seed is being “disrespected” and I’ll play accordingly.
|03-09-22||Navy v. Colgate -6.5||Top||58-74||Win||100||12 h 23 m||Show|
Only one NCAA Tournament berth will be handed out today and it goes to the winner of the Patriot League Final between Navy and Colgate. These are the top two seeds, but Colgate has pretty clearly been the class of the league throughout the season. On their home floor, I expect the Raiders to win comfortably and move on.
The respective paths these teams took to get to this Final illustrates the gap that exists between them. Colgate has rolled over Bucknell (96-68) and Lehigh (91-61) while Navy squeaked by American U (71-64) and needed overtime to beat Boston U (85-80).
This game is being played in Colgate’s gym where they are 14-1 SU this season and 38-4 SU the last three seasons. So it’s a really big deal. When at home, the Raiders are outscoring their opponents by almost 17 points per game.
Colgate swept the two regular season meetings vs. Navy. At home, they won by only five. But they won the game in Annapolis by 19.
It’s 14 straight wins for Colgate coming into tonight. Only one has been by less than seven points.
|03-09-22||St. Joe's -2 v. La Salle||Top||56-63||Loss||-110||6 h 53 m||Show|
It’s going to be a “tough mountain” to climb for LaSalle and St. Joe’s, who have to play in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tourney. Both face the prospect of having to win five times in five days just to make the NCAA Tournament. That’s not going to happen, but one team will win today and I think that’s going to be the short favorite.
Consider that St. Joe’s is playing with double revenge. Yes, they lost twice to LaSalle in the regular season. The more recent loss came exactly a week ago, on the road and by a single point. At the time, that was the Hawks’ seventh straight defeat, but five of them were by six points or less and three by two points or less.
Thankfully, the regular season ended on a positive note with St. Joe’s defeating Rhode Island 70-60. With the losing streak now over, they can concentrate on exacting some revenge.
LaSalle has won three in a row, which is very rare as it is tied for their longest win streak of the year. Two of those three wins have been by two points or less. The Explorers were just 2-13 in A-10 games. I think this is a wonderful time to fade them, especially at this price. St. Joe’s is the better team here and I find it hard to believe anybody could lose to LaSalle three times in the same season.
|03-08-22||Southern Miss v. Texas-San Antonio -3||Top||67-64||Loss||-110||22 h 16 m||Show|
UTSA and Southern Miss face a tough path in the Conference USA Tournament. Both face the task of having to win five times this week. That’s not going to happen for either team. But I do really like UTSA to win this first round game.
The Roadrunners aren’t particularly great, but they did win their last game (82-71 over Rice) and are facing an opponent that hasn’t won in nearly two months. The last time Southern Miss did win (1/19), it was against a non-DI foe. The last time the Golden Eagles defeated a Division I opponent was Jan 6 - UTSA. It was a one-point victory, 74-73.
UTSA avenged that loss with a 19-point win at Hattiesburg one month later. They are now 4-1 SU/ATS vs. Southern Miss the previous three seasons.
Southern Miss is very bad. They are 6-25 overall and 1-17 in conference play. The average loss came by nearly 15 PPG when facing a team from C-USA. During their current 12-game losing streak, 10 losses have come by double digits.
This is a steal having to lay so few points against Southern Miss. UTSA has already proven that they can blow this team out. They will again.
|03-08-22||Georgia Tech +1.5 v. Louisville||Top||74-84||Loss||-110||21 h 16 m||Show|
The bottom six take part in the first round of the ACC Tournament. Here, it’s the #11 seed Louisville taking on #14 Georgia Tech. The teams met once in the regular season. Louisville won 67-64 as a three-point favorite.
Since that win, the bottom dropped out of Louisville's season. They fired head coach Chris Mack and ended the regular season on a poor 4-13 ATS run. They won just two of those games straight up.
So I’m siding with the Yellow Jackets here. They’ve got a bit more momentum, having covered five of the last six games and beating Boston College in the regular season finale.
Playing for a lame-duck interim coach is no way to enter a conference tournament. That’s the reality for Louisville right now.
The Cardinals shoot just 28% from three away from home and average 63.9 points. They’ve also turned the ball over 54 times in the last four games and allowed opponents to shoot a ridiculous percentage from three in the last three games.
|03-07-22||Wright State v. Cleveland State||Top||82-67||Loss||-110||11 h 24 m||Show|
Despite being regular season champs in the Horizon League, Cleveland State isn’t getting much respect in this semifinal matchup with 4-seed Wright State. The quarterfinals of this tournament saw all top four seeds win in the quarterfinals after they each received a first round bye.
The top-seeded Vikings are 20-9 on the year. They ousted Robert Morris 83-67 in the quarterfinals, a game in which they had the home court advantage. Tonight’s game takes place in Indianapolis, a neutral setting. The Vikings actually haven’t played a neutral court game all season.
Thursday’s win against Robert Morris was marred by issues with the scoreboard, but CSU got 25 points from Torrey Patton, which matched a season-high. The Vikings shot well (54.2%) and defended the three-point line better than RMU. They forced 20 turnovers.
Wright State found itself down eight at the half against Oakland in its quarterfinal matchup. They too got to play at home. It was a 20-0 run that turned the tide. The Raiders are 0-3 ATS in neutral site games this year though and are unlikely to go on a run like that against a better team like Cleveland State.
Cleveland State won both regular season meetings, 85-75 at home and 71-67 away. They are the better team here and won the Horizon League Tourney last season. I see no reason why they won’t defeat Wright State again.
|03-06-22||Houston v. Memphis +2.5||Top||61-75||Win||100||4 h 58 m||Show|
This is an important game for Memphis, despite having won three in a row. The Tigers are firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble and can still earn the second seed for next week’s American Conference Tournament.
They are also looking to make it a season sweep over Houston. That would be quite the accomplishment. Back on February 12th, the Tigers ended the Cougars’ 37-game home win streak with a 69-59 victory. That was a season-low in points for Houston and they committed a season-high 19 turnovers.
Memphis has won 9 of its last 10 overall, the one loss coming at SMU. They’ve also covered five straight times against Houston.
I really like the spot for the short home underdog here. Houston is playing its fourth game in eight days (“tough” says coach Kelvin Sampson) and is lacking depth because of injuries. Considering that the Cougars have already locked up the regular season title, they may not be treating this game all that seriously.
Memphis has covered 11 of the past 13 times it has been an underdog. Grab the points.
|03-05-22||UNLV -3.5 v. New Mexico||Top||67-76||Loss||-110||15 h 37 m||Show|
UNLV played New Mexico in January and won 85-56. The Runnin’ Rebels don’t need to win by even half that margin tonight in Albuquerque. I’ll lay the points.
UNLV already knows it will be 5th in the Conference Tournament. That means they avoid playing in the first round. But they will face Wyoming in the quarterfinals. They just beat the Cowboys by seven on Wednesday.
New Mexico will be the nine seed, so they are in the first round and matched up with Nevada. The Lobos have lost four of five and just fell at Fresno State earlier in the week. They did at least cover the spread as 10-point underdogs.
UNLV has won the last seven head to head meetings. I say you can make it eight after tonight.
The Rebels have lost only one game that they have been favored in all season. This number is short. Lay it.
|03-05-22||Mt. St. Mary's v. Bryant -6||Top||69-70||Loss||-109||10 h 37 m||Show|
Bryant is the #1 seed in the NEC Tournament, having earned that distinction by defeating Wagner in the final regular season game. They won their quarterfinal game pretty handily, though not by as much as the oddsmakers expected. It was a 73-59 win over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday.
Mount St. Mary’s is the 4-seed and beat St. Francis 78-48 to get here. That was a very impressive win for last year’s NEC Tourney champs as they were only seven-point favorites.
Still, with Bryant having homecourt advantage for this one, the line looks low. Mount St. Mary’s has a 14-15 straight up record on the year and is 0-2 against Bryant, although one of the games was decided by just a single point.
The key though is Bryant’s 12-1 home record. This is a team that has lost just one time since Jan 6th. The Bulldogs are averaging 82.4 points in conference play while giving up just 73.3.
MSM played a great game Wednesday, but had lost five of seven before that and only averages 61.7 PPG on the road. Lay the points.
|03-05-22||Middle Tennessee +2.5 v. Old Dominion||Top||64-68||Loss||-110||6 h 41 m||Show|
Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion wrap up their regular seasons in Norfolk this afternoon. Both know where they’ll be seeded in the Conference USA Tournament. MTSU won the East Division and thus will get a bye into the quarterfinals. ODU finished fifth in the East and will be playing UTEP in a second round matchup.
With nothing really on the line here, you may be wondering why we’re playing this matchup. Well, Middle Tennessee has quietly had a VERY good year. The Blue Raiders are not just 22-8 straight up, but 21-6 against the spread. They are clearly the top threat to West Division Champ North Texas, who is the favorite heading into the C-USA Tournament.
The Blue Raiders beat Old Dominion by 15 when they hosted in Murfreesboro last month. It wasn’t a good shooting night for them, but they played great defense and limited the Monarchs to just 48 points and two made three-pointers.
MTSU is also coming off a rare loss, which is why I’m on them here. They fell 60-56 in Charlotte on Wednesday. Before that, the Blue Raiders had won eight in a row straight up and covered seven straight games.
ODU is just 3-6 SU in its last nine games and is pretty outclassed here. Not sure why they’re favored.
|03-03-22||Arkansas-Little Rock v. South Alabama -12||Top||75-71||Loss||-110||8 h 32 m||Show|
South Alabama is seeded fifth, but the Jaguars just might be the best team in the Sun Belt. They absolutely could make a run in this tournament. It starts on Thursday when they play a first round matchup against last place Little Rock. Expect this one to be a blowout.
Little Rock obviously did not have a good year. The Trojans finished 8-18 overall and 3-13 in conference play. They were even worse than the oddsmakers though, evident by a lousy 5-16 ATS record as an underdog. On the road, they were beaten by an average of 16.3 points per game.
The regular season ended very poorly for Little Rock. They’ve lost four in a row and 9 of 10. Eight of those nine losses were by double digits. Six were by at least 15 points.
These teams met once in the regular season. South Alabama won 77-46 as a 14.5 point favorite. Down 17 at halftime, Little Rock was never competitive.
USA won its regular season finale, beating UT Arlington 62-52 last Friday. Look for them to make a statement in the opening game of this tourney.
|03-02-22||Miami-FL -4 v. Boston College||Top||81-70||Win||100||13 h 40 m||Show|
Miami is currently on the right side of the bubble, but they need a strong final week of the regular season. The Hurricanes have lost two of their last three games, both losses at home, to fall into fourth place in the ACC.
Tonight looks like a great chance to get back on track as the Canes travel to face Boston College. Note that they have won three in a row on the road. The last road win was by 21 at Pittsburgh, a team who has a comparable record to BC.
Miami has too much offense for their hosts today. The visitors are 19th in adjusted offensive efficiency and seventh best in turnover rate. They average 74.7 points per game.
BC has lost six of eight and just went down by 10 to Clemson here at home on Saturday. It was the Eagles’ seventh loss by double digits since Jan 19th.
Miami has been good on the road. They are 8-2 straight up and against the spread. So lay the small number.
|03-01-22||American v. Holy Cross -2||Top||69-63||Loss||-110||10 h 9 m||Show|
This is a first round matchup in the Patriot League Tournament where all games are played at campus sites (higher seed always gets to host). Both American U and Holy Cross finished with the same overall record (9-21 SU), but the latter did better in conference play, finishing 7-11 as opposed to 5-13 for the former.
Playing at home is key here for Holy Cross, even though they last won here on February 9th. It’s just a small number we have to lay and the Crusaders have double revenge. That’s right. Two of American’s five league wins came against HC.
I just can’t see the underdog sweeping the season series. Holy Cross averaged just 51.5 points per game in the two regular season losses. I expect much better from them offensively here tonight.
American U won its final regular season game, beating Loyola MD 65-55. However, the Eagles have failed to win back to back games going all the way back to mid-December. I just think the odds are against them winning here.
For what it’s worth, Holy Cross has covered the spread in 14 of its last 17 games played on Tuesday.
|03-01-22||Providence +10 v. Villanova||Top||74-76||Win||100||10 h 57 m||Show|
Providence has already wrapped up the Big East, the first time it has EVER won the conference outright. But there is still a sense of motivation for this one as they look to avoid a season sweep against Villanova.
I think that most would agree that ‘Nova is in fact the better team here. The “analytics” don’t love Providence, mostly because of all the close wins the Friars have. But that has led to them getting a lot of points tonight. It’s too many. We’ll take a close loss!
To be clear, Providence is 24-3 this year. They lost the first meeting with Villanova by just five points. They are not just 7-1 ATS as an underdog, but also 7-1 straight up! This is a lot of points for the #8 ranked team in the country to be getting.
Though it’s their final home game and they haven’t played in a week, ‘Nova doesn’t have much motivation here. At least not to win by a double digit margin. They lost to UConn by two last Tuesday.
Three of the previous four meetings have been decided by five points or less. So take the points.
|02-28-22||College of Charleston v. Hofstra -5.5||Top||84-89||Loss||-110||11 h 10 m||Show|
Hofstra seems locked into third place in the CAA and very well could be taking on tonight’s opponent, Charleston, in the first round of the Conference Tournament. So there’s really nothing on the line in this Monday matchup. But, in their final home game, I look for the Pride to turn in a solid effort to end the regular season.
Charleston has been competitive of late, covering the number in four straight games. But they lost Saturday, 80-79 at Drexel, to fall a game below .500 this year in conference play. Tonight will mark the Cougars’ fourth consecutive game on the road. That’s a tough way to end the regular season and the team may very well be “out of gas.”
As for Hofstra, this is their fourth straight time playing at home. They had no problem dispatching William & Mary on Saturday, winning that game 83-67. That followed a shocking 81-55 loss to Elon. The Pride have failed to cover the number three straight times, but were also double digit favorites in all those games.
This is a solid value, I believe, on Hofstra at home. They are 11-2 SU in home games this season. Also, they defeated Charleston on the road, back in late January.
Key to this one is that Charleston is a poor defensive team that has given up an average of 82 points over its last four games. Hofstra has scored 76 or more in five of its last six. Lay the points.
|02-27-22||St. John's v. DePaul +2||Top||94-99||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
DePaul and St. John’s both find themselves in the bottom half of the Big East standings. Both are also coming off a game that was decided by three points. The difference is that St. John’s lost on Wednesday, 81-78 to Creighton, while DePaul was a 68-65 winner over Georgetown on Thursday.
The win for DePaul was their first since February 9th, also against Georgetown. In between the two wins over the Hoyas, the Blue Demons dropped four straight. But three of those losses were by three points or less, so they easily could have had a better record this month. They were up 19 in the second half against Providence and lost that game in overtime.
St. John’s blew a seven-point halftime lead to Creighton and lost for the third time in the last five games. The biggest problem facing the Red Storm is that they don’t play much defense, especially on the road where they are giving up 78.5 points/game.
The Johnnies did beat DePaul 89-84 at home last month. But they’ve been far too inconsistent to expect a season sweep.
DePaul averages 76.5 points at home and is 3-0 ATS this season off a Big East win.
|02-27-22||Illinois v. Michigan||Top||93-85||Win||100||7 h 36 m||Show|
Illinois (19-8 overall, 12-5 Big 10) is coming off an 86-83 home loss to Ohio State on Thursday, which knocked the Fighting Illini a game back of conference leaders Wisconsin and Purdue. I like them to bounce back here on Sunday,
We know that Michigan is without coach Juwan Howard, who is suspended for five games due to the post-game fight with Wisconsin. The Wolverines did show some resolve by going out and beating Rutgers 71-62 on Wednesday, here in Ann Arbor. Michigan is now 8-4 in its last 12 games and their NCAA Tournament prospects are looking a lot better.
But I simply think that the Illini are the better team here. They won the season’s first meeting, 68-53 as a 9.5-point favorite. They are 4-0 straight up and against the spread in the last four games against Michigan.
Michigan has been far more inconsistent this year. They are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win. They are just 15-11 straight up this year and rate lower than Illinois in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
Illinois is 4-0 straight up and against the spread in its last four games as a road favorite of three points or less.
|02-26-22||Southern Miss v. Rice -13||Top||72-77||Loss||-105||11 h 18 m||Show|
Rice has a wonderful opportunity to win big in its last home game of the season. The Owls are hosting Southern Miss, who is Conference USA’s worst team. The visitors are 6-22 overall this season, 1-14 in conference play. Their last win over a Division I opponent was back on January 6th, by a single point.
Two of Southern Miss’ four wins over DI teams this year have been by a single point. So it’s been a bleak year in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles have lost 11 in a row and 10 of those losses have been by double digits.
Rice has lost four straight and five of six, but the last two games were decided by a total of six points. There should be ample motivation to give the seniors one final big win at home tonight. Back on January 29th, the Owls beat Southern Miss by 14 on the road.
Rice scored 52 points in the second half Thursday. They are averaging 77.9 points at home. Southern Miss averages just over 60 PPG on the road.
Lastly, Rice is a perfect 6-0 against the spread the last three seasons when playing at home and the total is between 145 and 149.5.
|02-26-22||Cleveland State v. Oakland -1.5||Top||57-65||Win||100||7 h 19 m||Show|
Oakland has faded a bit in the Horizon League title chance, losing three straight to fall to 11-7 in conference play and 18-11 overall. That’s three games back of current leader Cleveland State, whom the Golden Grizzlies will play host to this afternoon. I like them to get the job done here.
Going back to January 20th, Oakland is just 1-10 against the spread. They have been the favorite for all of those games, except one, a 75-64 loss at Wright State. Their three straight losses have all been here at home, which is shocking as the Golden Grizzlies had previously not lost a home game all season.
Cleveland State is also coming off a loss, 74-67 at Detroit. This will be the Vikings’ fifth consecutive road game to end the regular season. Meanwhile, it’s the final home game (Senior Night) for Oakland.
While Cleveland State is looking to wrap up the regular season championship, Oakland is desperate to build some momentum for the upcoming Conference Tournament. They defeated Cleveland State, 70-65, as a 1-point road underdog earlier in the season.
I can’t see Oakland losing again at home as CSU should be pretty spent, having played so many road games in a row.
|02-26-22||Oklahoma State v. Oklahoma -3.5||Top||62-66||Win||100||4 h 19 m||Show|
There are four ranked teams in the Big 12 (Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas) that are the class of the conference. After that, there’s a bit of a drop. Neither Oklahoma State and Oklahoma have had much reason to celebrate lately, as the former is 3-7 its last 10 games and the latter is 2-11 its last 13 games. But someone will have to prevail in “Bedlam” on Saturday.
When these teams met on ⅖, the Cowboys prevailed 64-55 in Stillwater. But now the Sooners get the game in Norman with a shot at revenge. OU is off back to back 20+ point losses as well. So they are really desperate here.
OSU lost by two at home to Baylor on Monday. The game went to overtime. I had the Cowboys, plus the points, so at the end of the day, I was happy. But OSU has to be a bit deflated, especially with that being their fifth OT game this season.
The Cowboys are also banned from postseason play, so you’ve got to question their level of motivation down the stretch. Off an ATS win, they are 2-7 ATS this season. They last covered two straight games in November.
The revenge angle and home court advantage should propel Oklahoma to a win Saturday. They’ve lost four in a row to their rivals. They won’t lose again. Lay the short number.
|02-25-22||Manhattan +5.5 v. Marist||Top||56-74||Loss||-110||11 h 18 m||Show|
Elsewhere, I’ve got a play on the top MAAC team against the bottom MAAC team. Here, we venture to the middle of the conference standings for a game between Manhattan and Marist. I think the value resides with the dog in this one as they won the first meeting.
It was 72-66 in favor of Manhattan, back on Jan 30th, when these teams first met. The Jaspers proceeded to lose their next four games, but now have won three straight and can pass Marist for fifth place in the conference. Why is that important? Because the top five teams get first round byes in the conference tournament.
After losing five in a row, Marist has now won five in a row. Two of those wins were by just a point though and they were against Qunnipiac and Canisius, who are at the bottom of the league. In another recent win (last Friday vs. Siena), the Red Foxes were down seven at the half.
Not only is Marist just 1-8 against the spread in its last nine tries as a favorite, but the team that has been the underdog has covered four of the last five meetings in this MAAC rivalry. Take the points.
|02-25-22||Canisius v. Iona -15||Top||65-72||Loss||-110||11 h 18 m||Show|
This is a mismatch, an even bigger one than what the line suggests. Iona leads the MAAC with a 14-2 conference record. They are 11-0 at home, winning by 12.5 points per game. Tonight they can wrap up the regular season title simply by defeating last place Canisius. Look for this to be a blowout.
Iona won the first meeting by eight. But the 70-62 final was a little misleading in the sense that the Gaels were up 19 at the half. It was 35-12 just 15 minutes into the game.
Canisius hasn’t won on the road all year. They are 0-14 away from home as they are shooting just 38.2 percent from the field.
In their last game, the Golden Griffins scored just 54 points in a home loss to Niagara. That was their seventh loss in the last eight games.
Iona ran out to an 18-point victory over Fairfield their last time on the court. That was here at home on Sunday. They used a big second half to cover the 11-point spread. I just can’t see this being a close game. Lay the points.
|02-25-22||Northwestern +1.5 v. Penn State||Top||60-67||Loss||-108||8 h 48 m||Show|
I like Northwestern here in a battle of two of the five Big 10 teams that aren’t projected to make the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats picked up a win earlier this week, at home, 77-65 over Nebraska. Now they look to avenge a four-point home loss where they were eight-point favorites.
That first meeting was a little odd. Penn State won because they controlled the glass (40-28 edge in rebounds) and made more free throws (15) than Northwestern even attempted (nine).
The Nittany Lions are 308th in the country in points per game, so unless they can replicate those edges in rebounding and free throw shooting, I don’t see them outscoring Northwestern tonight.
PSU lost on Monday, 67-61 at Maryland, and you may remember that I took the Terps in that game. The Nittany Lions lost even though Maryland did not make a basket over the game’s final 6:20. Bad sign.
Northwestern has covered all four times this season when matched up against an opponent with a losing record.
|02-23-22||Chattanooga -3 v. East Tennessee State||Top||83-77||Win||100||11 h 7 m||Show|
The race for the regular season title in the SoCon (Southern Conference) is down to two teams: Chattanooga and Furman. Chattanooga is seemingly in the driver's seat, not just with a one-game lead, but they also swept the season series against Furman.
But, after beating Furman for a second time this year, the Mocs have lost two straight: 73-70 to UNC Greensboro and 80-75 to VMI. Even more embarrassing is that both losses came at home. Tonight though, the Mocs can clinch the regular season title, simply by winning at East Tennessee State.
When these in-state rivals met on New Year’s Eve, it was all Chattanooga in an 82-52 beatdown. East Tennessee State has not had a good season as they come into the rematch having lost seven of their last nine games. Many of those losses were close, but I just can’t see them winning here against a hungry and better opponent.
Chattanooga is a very impressive 21-5-1 ATS its last 27 games against teams that have a losing record. East Tennessee State is 14-15 overall on the year (straight up).
This is only the second time this season that Chattanooga has lost back to back games. The first instance saw them rebound with a double digit victory. That is what I expect here. Lay the points.
|02-22-22||UNLV v. Nevada -1.5||Top||62-54||Loss||-110||14 h 30 m||Show|
Two rivals trying to break from the middle of the Mountain West pack meet Tuesday night in Reno as Nevada hosts UNLV. The home side has won three in a row, though two of those wins came against last place San Jose State. The visiting team has won three of four and five of its last seven, which includes a win over Nevada , 69-58 down in Sin City.
The Runnin’ Rebels are 4-0 ATS in the last four games and coming off wins over Fresno State and Colorado State. Beating Colorado State by 21 on Saturday was very impressive. The Rebels have gotten 10 straight games of 17+ points from leading scorer Hamilton and the only time they’ve been beaten in the last four games, it came down to the final minute in Bose.
But Nevada is out for revenge Tuesday night and should benefit from the fact they have not played a game since Thursday (when they obliterated San Jose State by 30).
The Wolf Pack have won and covered the last three times they’ve hosted UNLV. They shot very poorly in the game at Vegas earlier this year, including 3 of 17 from three. They come into this game shooting 53.7% overall over the last five games.
I mentioned earlier that UNLV is off a 21-point over Colorado State. Fortunately for us, the Rebels are just 1-5 ATS the previous six times they have been off a straight up win by 20 or more points.
|02-22-22||Miami-FL -3.5 v. Pittsburgh||Top||85-64||Win||100||12 h 42 m||Show|
Heading into February, Miami was viewed as a legit contender in the ACC. But they’re just 3-3 overall this month and thus falling back to the rest of the pack. Looking at their remaining games, the Hurricanes do have a pretty “easy” schedule and still trail Duke by just two games. Winning tonight at Pittsburgh is a must and I think they get the job done.
Pitt had won three in a row, but then lost to Ga Tech 68-62 on Saturday. They were two-point favorites. Even with the recent surge, the Panthers are just 6-11 in ACC games and closer to the bottom then they are to the middle of the pack.
Miami is 7-2 on the road this year, straight up and against the spread, so I am not worried about laying a short number here. Pittsburgh is averaging only 62.5 points per game, which is 343rd in the country.
I think most would be looking at the Hurricanes a lot more favorably here, had they not wilted in the second half against Virginia on Saturday. The Canes were up by eight at the half in that game, but surrendered a 23-4 second half run and never really recovered. The final score was 74-71.
The last five games Miami has allowed a shooting percentage of 50.6. I just don’t see Pitt coming anywhere close to that.
|02-21-22||Baylor v. Oklahoma State +4.5||Top||66-64||Win||100||13 h 46 m||Show|
#7 Baylor heads to Stillwater tonight to face Oklahoma State. This is Ok State’s second straight week playing on “Big Monday” (ESPN). The Cowboys certainly are hoping this week goes better than last when they lost to Kansas 76-62 as a 10.5-point dog. I believe it will!
The obvious difference between this week and last is that OSU is playing at home. They have a much better record in Stillwater (9-5 SU), which is where they just defeated Kansas State on Saturday, 82-79. Though it ended up going into overtime, the Cowboys led most of that game.
Now Baylor is clearly much better than Kansas State. But the Bears have struggled a bit on their travels recently, dropping three of their last four road games.
You could argue that all three teams Baylor lost to on the road are better than Ok State. I won’t disagree with you on that. But Ok State also already holds a win over Baylor this year, having gone to Waco and come out ahead 61-54 as 14-point road underdogs. They held the Bears to 31% shooting for the game. It was Baylor’s second straight loss at the time.
Baylor is just 2-5 ATS its last seven games overall. They are playing short-handed right now with a couple of players injured. A lack of depth will catch up with them on the road. Take the points.
|02-20-22||Lehigh v. Loyola Maryland -4.5||Top||42-69||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
Loyola MD has lost four straight and six of seven. But most of those losses have been close. Three of them were by four points or less. So the recent record could be alot better for the Greyhounds. I like them today, at home, as they look to sweep the season series from Lehigh.
A win today would pull Loyola even with Lehigh for fourth place in the Patriot League. Obviously, based on head to head results, they’d have the tiebreak. A loss would drop the Greyhounds and have them in danger of having to play a first round game in the Conference Tournament. They obviously want to avoid that.
Lehigh is off a win, 86-77 over Bucknell, but before that had lost four of five. The road has been unkind this year to the Mountain Hawks as they are 3-10 SU away. The last road win for them was just over a month ago.
Loyola won the first meeting 69-57 and was a two-point favorite. Looking at the line here and comparing it to the first meeting, it seems like we’re getting a pretty great value.
This is a huge game for the home team. I really like them in this spot.
|02-19-22||Oregon +13.5 v. Arizona||Top||81-84||Win||100||14 h 22 m||Show|
This is the ultimate buy low spot on Oregon, who just suffered a terrible loss at Arizona State on Thursday. Despite being favored by five points, the Ducks ended up losing the game 81-57. It was their worst loss of the season and a costly one for their NCAA Tournament prospects.
Few will give Oregon a shot tonight playing at Arizona. It’s not just the bad loss on Thursday. Arizona is ranked #3 in the country.
But, like I said, it’s time to buy low on Oregon. Expect them to come out with a flurry. Last Saturday, Arizona found itself down 14 early to Washington before being able to come back. It was another slow start in Thursday’s win over Oregon State. The Wildcats, talented as they are, can’t just keep starting slow and blowing teams out in the second half. It’s unsustainable.
Oregon was the #13 team in the country in the preseason poll and has beaten Arizona seven consecutive times. This is the first time they’ve been a double digit dog this season. The most points they’ve gotten previously, in any game, was +9.5 at UCLA. The Ducks ended up winning that game 84-81.
This is a great time to take the points.
|02-19-22||Murray State -15.5 v. Tenn-Martin||Top||62-60||Loss||-110||9 h 51 m||Show|
I’ve been VERY impressed with what Murray State is doing. The Racers have gotten themselves into the Top 25 by winning 15 in a row and can now probably count on being an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament if they fail to win the Ohio Valley Tournament next month.
Only two other teams in America, besides Murray State, don’t have a conference loss. They are Gonzaga and South Dakota State.
In their last game, the Racers blew past Austin Peay for a 91-56 win and cover. From the opening tip, there was little doubt they’d cover the 18.5-point spread. I expect a similar win here today against Tenn-Martin.
This is a tough one for Tenn-Martin, who just hosted Morehead State, who is another of the Ohio Valley’s better teams. The Skyhawks did cover that game, as nine-point dogs, but barely - they lost 68-60 and that was despite having the halftime lead. Tenn-Martin has now dropped four straight games.
The first meeting between these teams was actually rather close. Murray State won by only eight, despite being 22 point favorites at home. But that was early enough in the season that Tenn-Martin still had hope. At this point, they know they cannot compete with a nationally ranked team and I expect that to show Saturday afternoon.
|02-19-22||Auburn -3.5 v. Florida||Top||62-63||Loss||-110||6 h 22 m||Show|
#2 Auburn is back in action Saturday, looking to continue its outstanding form in the SEC this season. The Tigers are 12-1 in conference play so far and winning by an average of 10.4 points per game. Very impressive.
After double digit wins at home over Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, the Tigers will now head to Gainesville to face Florida. The Gators are not in peak form right now. Not only have they failed to cover the spread in five straight games, they’ve lost the last two on the scoreboard as well.
Those losses were both on the road, one by a single point (to Texas A&M) and the other to Kentucky. But if you’re expecting this team to step up as a home dog, better think again. Florida is 0-6 ATS the past six times it has been a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points.
The Gators also have just one “Quad 1” win on the year. They lost the first meeting, at Auburn, by a score of 85-73. They didn’t cover as 7.5 point underdogs.
The bottom line is that I just don’t think the home team is good enough to “hang around” the #2 ranked team in the country for 40 minutes. Lay the points
|02-19-22||Boston College v. Syracuse -8.5||Top||56-76||Win||100||4 h 22 m||Show|
It is very clear that Syracuse is an entirely different team when playing at the Carrier Dome.
The Orange are 9-3 here and averaging 86.3 points. That scoring average is up from their overall average of 77.3 for the season. They are shooting 51.4% from the field in home games, which includes an incredible 42.5% from three.
So I have zero hesitation in laying the points here against BC, who is 1-10 away from home. The Eagles have won just four ACC games this season and come into today on a four-game losing streak.
One of those four losses came at home to Syracuse, 73-64. Given the ‘Cuse shot just 39.3% that day and how they shoot at home, this figures to be a long afternoon for Boston College at the defensive end.
I like the way the schedule breaks for Syracuse as well. They’d won four in a row before running into Va Tech last Saturday. The Orange have had a week to recover from their 71-59 loss in Blacksburg. Meanwhile, BC just played at Notre Dame on Wednesday and lost in overtime. Lay the points
|02-18-22||Maryland -2 v. Nebraska||Top||90-74||Win||100||13 h 11 m||Show|
It’s been a disappointing season for Maryland (they were once ranked!), but the Terps ought to be favored by more against the worst team in the Big 10.
The Big 10 is obviously a tough league as it could be putting nine teams in the NCAA Tournament. Of the five unlikely Big Dance participants, four (Penn State, N’western, Maryland, Minnesota) are pretty evenly matched. But then there’s a huge drop with Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers are dead last with a 1-13 Big 10 record. The one win came last week at home vs. Minnesota. But then they got smashed by Iowa on Super Bowl Sunday. That was the fifth time this season that the team suffered a loss by more than 20 points against a conference foe.
Also on Sunday, Maryland had a 12 point lead at Purdue in the second half with 11 minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, they blew all of it and lost 62-61. That was the Terrapins’ second one-possession loss to a ranked team in the last four games.
I just think the Terps are simply the better team, even if Eric Ayala is out again. They are 16-3 ATS when on a losing streak of three or more games.
|02-18-22||Columbia v. Harvard -15||Top||54-62||Loss||-110||11 h 11 m||Show|
Harvard has lost three straight games and finds itself in the bottom half of the Ivy League standings. But tonight is a get well game against Columbia, who as you can tell (from the line) is not good at all.
Columbia is in fact last in the Ivy with a 1-9 conference record. They are 4-18 overall on the year. The Lions’ lone conference win was by four points (over Penn!), all the way back on January 8th. In the last game, they got destroyed, losing to Yale by 25 at home.
The Lions’ current eight-game losing streak actually began with a 91-82 setback at Harvard. The spread for that game was 10 points so Columbia covered. But they also shot a season-high 55% overall from the floor and 48% from three. Those numbers won’t be repeated tonight.
Three of Harvard’s last four defeats have been by four points or less and two were to conference leader Yale. It was an eight-point loss at second place Penn last Saturday. So the Crimson have been facing the Ivy League’s elite recently and coming up short. This drop in class should guarantee a favorable result.
I mentioned earlier that Columbia scored just 59 points in its last game. Well, the last nine times after a game where they scored 60 or less, they are 1-8 ATS. Lay the points.
|02-16-22||Chicago State v. Stephen F Austin -19||Top||71-88||Loss||-110||12 h 52 m||Show|
Chicago State is one of the very worst teams in the country and I don’t think SF Austin will have any problem handling them in this Wednesday night WAC matchup.
Look no further than what happened last week, in SF Austin’s last game. They crushed Chicago State, on the road, 81-61 as a 12-point favorite. That was the Lumberjacks’ fourth consecutive win and cover.
Chicago State has lost six in a row and they’ve played another game since the 20-point loss to SF Austin. It was a 13-point loss, also at home, to Sam Houston State. The Cougars are now 2-10 in conference play this season. Even worse, they are 2-12 overall on the road.
SF Austin is two games off the lead in the WAC, so there’s no reason to expect there to be any kind of “letdown” tonight. If anything, it should be a focused effort as the team looks to make its move up the WAC standings. The remaining schedule looks advantageous.
Meanwhile, Chicago State has had less time to get ready for this rematch and they know anything short of a miracle run in the WAC Tournament means their season is over. For all intents and purposes, it already is over. The Cougars are averaging less than 60 points/game on the road. Lay the points.
|02-15-22||Wyoming v. New Mexico +6||Top||66-75||Win||100||11 h 59 m||Show|
Wyoming has won six straight and now finds itself ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in seven seasons. With them laying points on the road tonight, it just feels like the right opportunity to fade the Cowboys.
New Mexico is 8-2 ATS and averaging 78.6 points at home this year. “The Pit” is not an easy place to win at. The Lobos should be well prepared for this game. Over the last 10 days, they’ve only played once and it was a blowout over a non-Division I opponent. (They won 78-46).
Wyoming’s six-game win streak has featured three two-point victories as well as two others by seven or less. Two of the wins went to overtime. The one blowout came on Saturday, at San Jose State, who is the worst team in the Mountain West.
The Cowboys actually have FIVE two-point victories since January 15th. One of them came against New Mexico on 1/22. That game in Laramie ended up being a 93-91 final. New Mexico never trailed by more than 10 points in that game and shot 53.7% from the field.
Wyoming shot 58% in that first meeting, a number they will not match tonight. With so many close wins recently and a national ranking next to their name, I can see the Cowboys being a little overconfident here. I can see an upset taking place. Grab the points.
|02-15-22||Texas -1 v. Oklahoma||Top||80-78||Win||100||9 h 59 m||Show|
Back on January 11th, Texas picked up its largest win over Oklahoma in over a decade. They were 66-52 winners in Austin. I think they’re more than capable of simply winning again here in Norman.
It was just last Monday when the Longhorns upset Kansas 79-76. That was also in Austin. Unfortunately, things didn’t go UT’s way on Saturday when they visited Baylor (lost 80-63). But that was a tough spot, facing a second top 10 opponent in less than a week.
Oklahoma has had a similar last seven days. They picked up a big win at home (over Texas Tech) then lost on the road (at Kansas). Their road loss was by just two points, so it was a better showing than what Texas had. But seriously doubt anyone thinks the Sooners are the better team here.
In fact, OU has lost eight of its last ten games.
Texas has the #2 scoring defense in the country, holding teams to just 56.8 points per game. I already mentioned how they held Oklahoma to 52 in the first meeting. Since that game, the Sooners have failed to score 60 three other times. I don’t expect many points from the home team tonight. Go with the road team to win and complete the season sweep.
|02-14-22||Lafayette v. Colgate -13.5||Top||61-69||Loss||-105||11 h 33 m||Show|
Let’s check in on the Patriot League where Colgate is in first place with a 10-2 record. The Raiders are just 14-11 overall, but have won six straight and are looking like the class of this conference right now. They are 8-1 at home this season and host Lafayette on Monday.
Lafayette is off a rare win on Saturday as they went to Lehigh and pulled a 73-69 upset as four-point underdogs. The Leopards are still just 8-15 overall and 5-7 in conference games, however. They already lost to Colgate once this year, 72-61 as 8.5 point home underdogs.
Colgate has covered the spread in each of the last four games, three times as a double digit favorite. At home, they are putting up an average of 77.1 points per game while allowing just 59.9.
So this should be a pretty easy game for the favorite.
|02-13-22||Marshall v. UTEP -6||Top||88-79||Loss||-105||7 h 22 m||Show|
UTEP saw its six game win streak snapped on Monday. They lost 66-58 to North Texas, who is the best team in Conference USA this year. At least the Miners left with the cash, covering as 10-point underdogs. It was early in the second half when things fell apart.
The Miners should have no concerns today as they are taking on a Marshall team that has been a disaster to bet on all season. The Thundering Herd are, get this, 4-18 against the spread.
They are 1-10 ATS in conference play, 2-8 ATS as an underdog and 1-9 ATS on the road.
It’s the first meeting in almost two years for these two schools. UTEP, already the better team, has a nice edge as they’ve been off for the last five days while Marshall was just in action on Thursday, losing by one at home to FIU, a game they were expected to win by six points.
UTEP only gives up 62.4 points per game at home. Marshall is allowing 80.4 on the road. Lay the points in this one.
|02-12-22||DePaul +9.5 v. Providence||Top||73-76||Win||100||11 h 6 m||Show|
Providence brings a 20-2 record and #11 ranking into Saturday’s game vs. DePaul. But I get the sense that the Friars are a little overrated. They did end up blowing out Georgetown on Sunday, 71-52, but were trailing at the half. Before that, it was three straight wins by four points or less.
DePaul is near the bottom of the Big East, only ahead of Georgetown, but the Blue Demons are on a win streak. They’ve won two in a row. One was against G’town, but the other was a win at Xavier where they 13.5 point underdogs.
The season’s first meeting between DePaul and Providence was played on New Year’s Day. Providence won 70-53 as DePaul shot just below 30 percent for the game. Interestingly, the Blue Demons were small favorites to win that day.
I like the underdog’s chance at revenge today, or at least covering the spread. Providence is only 7-7 ATS when favored and 0-1 as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points.
I simply believe that Providence is “living on borrowed time.” As a favorite of this size, which is rare for them, they should be faded.
|02-12-22||Texas A&M +12 v. Auburn||Top||58-75||Loss||-110||4 h 28 m||Show|
Auburn suffered just its second loss of the season on Tuesday. It was at Arkansas on Tuesday, 80-76. The top-ranked Tigers were only 1.5 point favorites for the game, so it can be argued that the oddsmakers “saw that coming.”
Prior to the setback, two of Auburn’s last four wins were by two points or fewer. Since January 11th, they have five single digit victories. I know that a return home (where the team is 12-0 this year) has most on “The Plains” thinking about a bounce back, but this is a pretty big number the Tigers are laying.
Texas A&M will be both desperate and motivated. The Aggies’ last win was all the way back on January 15th. But of the seven consecutive games that they have lost, the final margin has never been larger than 11 points. Four have been by six points or fewer. So they’ve remained competitive, despite adversity.
Surprisingly, A&M has won five of the previous six matchups in the series! They were also 4-0 in SEC play before this seven-game skid. One of the four wins came against the Arkansas team that just beat Auburn.
The Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as a road underdog. Take the points here.
|02-11-22||Nevada v. Utah State -11.5||Top||85-74||Loss||-110||12 h 27 m||Show|
Utah State looks to bounce back from a tough two-point defeat at Wyoming. They are hosting Nevada, who is in real trouble now after taking a sixth straight loss on Tuesday. I think it’s fair to say that - in the Mountain West - there’s a pretty severe dropoff after the top six teams. Nevada is not in that top six. Utah State is.
Now the Aggies are technically in seventh in the standings, behind UNLV. But not only do I think they are better than the Rebels, USU is better than several teams ahead of them. The KenPom ratings have them as the second best team in the conference, literally right behind Boise State. The Aggies are 31st in those KenPom ratings. So this is a good team.
They’d won five straight, all by double digits, before losing at Wyoming on Tuesday. That game went to overtime, by the way. What’s most interesting about Utah State’s 6-6 conference record is that - like I said - five of the wins have come by double digits. Four of the losses have been decided by three points or less.
Five of Nevada’s six straight losses have come by 10 or more. One of those was to Utah State, 78-49, and that was at home! In Logan, it’s hard to imagine the Wolf Pack playing well. Lay the points.
|02-11-22||St Bonaventure +5.5 v. St. Louis||Top||68-61||Win||100||12 h 45 m||Show|
incorrectly entered play
|02-11-22||Long Beach State v. Hawaii -3||Top||73-66||Loss||-108||13 h 46 m||Show|
Let’s go with one more on tonight’s College Hoops card. Long Beach State (aka “The Beach”) has to leave the mainland for this game at Hawaii. The Beach is on a nine-game winning streak - straight up and against the spread. But Honolulu is a hard place to win.
Hawaii is back home after losing two in a row on the road. Those losses were by five (at UC Riverside) and three points (UC Davis). Prior to that, the Warriors had won seven in a row while covering the spread all but once. That one ATS failure came as a 13-point favorite.
At home, Hawaii is 4-0 straight up in conference play. Also, earlier in the year they went to Long Beach and won 72-65 as a one-point underdog. That was the Big West opener for both teams.
LBSU hasn’t lost since, so it feels like this is a “collision course” for the two teams here. CS Fullerton is also 7-2 in Big West play, but a Hawaii win here would have them feeling VERY good about capturing the regular season conference crown.
The Beach were down five to CS Fullerton, at halftime, in their last game. They have not had the halftime lead in any game since 1/27 vs. UC Riverside. I just can’t see them covering such a short number at arguably the toughest place to play in the entire Big West.
|02-10-22||UC-Santa Barbara -2.5 v. CS Bakersfield||Top||74-62||Win||100||14 h 25 m||Show|
UCSB, to me, is much better than its 9-9 SU record. The Gauchos’ problem has been a 1-7 record (SU and ATS) on the road where nearly every loss has been close. Their last time on the road, they lost 65-62 to Hawaii, a game where third leading scorer Ajare Sanni left in the second half with an ankle injury.
Sanni hasn’t played since, but I don’t see him listed on the injury report for tonight. His potential would be a big boon for a team that actually leads the Big West in scoring margin. UCSB did win big in its last game, beating UC San Diego by a score of 84-48.
While just 2-5 SU in its last seven games, three of those losses for the Gauchos have been by three points or less. This team has been somewhat unlucky so far. But remember they are the reigning Big West Champs and were projected to finish first again, back in November.
I think that we’re getting a great number here as Cal State Bakersfield has dropped five in a row.
UCSB shoots the ball well, right at 48.5% for the season. That’s 18th in Division I! The Gauchos have had a double digit lead in three of their four conference losses and the other one was a one-point loss. Lay the short number with the road team.
|02-10-22||William & Mary v. Towson -17.5||Top||60-75||Loss||-110||9 h 25 m||Show|
Towson may be 1.5 games behind UNC Wilmington, but I think they’re the best team in the CAA. Tonight, the Tigers are massive favorites over William & Mary, deservedly so. W&M is a bottom tier team in the Colonial that has won just two times since the New Year. One of four programs to be eligible for every NCAA Tournament and never make one, W&M is going to see that dubious streak extended this year.
As for the question of whether or not Towson can cover this large spread, I believe that they can. That may sound strange as the Tigers are coming off an embarrassing loss, 58-53 to Northeastern, who is the last place team in the conference. But if you don’t think that will have the Tigers motivated, then guess again.
The loss to Northeastern, who I believe is better than W&M, saw Towson make just 1 of 15 three-point attempts. Obviously, that is what cost them the game. The loss also occurred out on the road. At home, the Tigers are 8-2 this year, the only losses coming to UNCW and a very good San Francisco team.
William & Mary has lost its last two games by a combined 45 points. This is not just the worst team in the CAA, but one of the bottom 20 teams in the entire country, in my estimation. The Tribe are 347th in offensive efficiency and 304th in defensive efficiency. This has blowout written all over it.
|02-09-22||California +1.5 v. Oregon State||Top||63-61||Win||100||15 h 24 m||Show|
It remains to be seen how many teams from the Pac 12 are going to make the Big Dance. But barring a stunning run in the Conference Tournament, we know that neither of these teams will be in the field of 68.
Oregon State was an Elite 8 team last March, which was a stunning run for a team seeded 12th and not favored in any of its final eight games. This season has been much more rough for the Beavers. They are 3-17, including 1-9 in the Pac 12 where they are in last place.
So this is a great spot to take Cal, in my view, even though the Bears aren’t having a good season themselves. But they are better than Oregon State. Back in December, they defeated the Beavers 73-61 as a 2.5-point favorite in Berkeley.
Cal comes into the rematch on a 10-game losing streak while OSU has lost seven in a row. Something has to give.
Cal was at least competitive in a loss to Washington State on Saturday. Oregon State’s last three losses have all been by at least 22 points and they have multiple players listed as questionable for tonight. Back the road team.
|02-09-22||Hartford v. Maryland-Baltimore County -6||Top||64-68||Loss||-110||11 h 24 m||Show|
It wasn’t that long ago that I took UMBC as an underdog, and they came through, pulling the outright win. In fact, it was exactly one week ago. They were +2.5 at Albany and won 59-53.
The Retrievers then returned home on Saturday and beat New Hampshire 88-77, obviously a much more high scoring affair. While Vermont is basically assured of winning the regular season crown in the America East, UMBC now has a great shot at finishing second after winning its last five games.
When I took them last Tuesday, I obviously expected a straight up win. Here, UMBC is favored, but this time they are playing at home and against a Hartford team that should offer little resistance. The Hawks have only won five games all year.
It’s been three straight losses to open February for Hartford as they continue to sink to the bottom of the conference standings. They just played Monday, losing 85-75 to UMass-Lowell. In my view, the quick turnaround puts them at a severe disadvantage. It’s the second road game in three nights.
The Retrievers have captured 8 of the last 10 meetings against the spread. Lay the points.
|02-08-22||Pacific v. USC -19.5||Top||68-74||Loss||-110||15 h 38 m||Show|
Pacific is having a dreadful season as the Tigers are 4-16 ATS, the worst such record in the country. It’s about to get worse as they’ll play three times in the next five days. The next two games are against nationally ranked teams, USC and Gonzaga.
Running into USC now is a bad deal for Pacific. The Trojans were lucky not to go 0-2 last week. They had to come from behind to beat Arizona State, then were outclassed by Arizona.
So USC dropped two spots, down to #21 in the latest rankings. But I’m expecting a focused effort here as they step out of conference for what should be a very easy game. This is a team that plays in the Pac 12. They’ll welcome an opportunity to face one of the weakest West Coast Conference teams, at home no less. This was a hastily scheduled game, replacing Oklahoma State on the schedule. The Trojans were supposed to take on the Cowboys back on Dec 21, but COVID had other ideas. Going from facing OK State to Pacific is a big break for the Trojans.
The Trojans’ height will be too much for Pacific. In addition, there’s no way they won’t shoot better here than they did vs. Arizona where they were 34.3% from the field. Drew Peterson was 1 of 13.
Pacific is 0-9 on the road - straight up and against the spread. Lay the points.
|02-07-22||Montana State -10 v. Idaho State||Top||72-53||Win||100||13 h 50 m||Show|
Look for Montana State to roll here. The Bobcats are facing an Idaho State team that is just plain lousy. But what makes this play particularly appetizing is that Idaho State is coming off an upset win. The Bengals stunned Montana, 86-63 as 9.5-point dogs, over the weekend.
Before that, Idaho State had lost five in a row with four of the losses coming by double digits. Montana State is trending in a much different direction. They are on an eight game win streak entering Monday and trail Weber State, who they just beat, by only two in the win column.
Montana State beat Idaho State by 20 the first time they met. They held the Bengals to 25.5% shooting and 3 of 23 from three-point range. In the second half, they outscored them 37-21.
Montana State didn’t just beat Weber State over the weekend. They did so by 21 points, on the road. That’s a very impressive performance against the Big Sky leaders. The Bobcats are averaging 78.2 points per game on the road and have covered both times they’ve been a favorite of 9.5 to 12 points.
Idaho State is only averaging 62.9 points per game this season. They have a 4-16 straight up record. My view is that they should be faded off what was easily their best performance in conference play. Lay the points here.
|02-07-22||New Hampshire v. Stony Brook -4||Top||67-65||Loss||-110||12 h 50 m||Show|
For reasons out of the players’ control, Stony Brook finds itself in a tough position. Because the school is moving to the Colonial Athletic Association next year, the America East ruled them ineligible for the conference tournament. That means the Seawolves will need to receive an at-large bid to make the NCAA tournament, which seems unlikely.
Has this had an effect on the court? Well, Stony Brook has dropped two in a row and three of its last four. This skid has dropped the Seawolves closer to the middle of the pack in the America East standings. But I feel, because of the recent losses, we’re able to get a great number here.
New Hampshire is not a team you should be afraid to bet against. Saturday, the Wildcats gave up 88 points in a loss at UMBC. Going back to the start of January, they’ve been alternating wins and losses. While that pattern would seem to indicate a win tonight, take note of the fact New Hampshire is 0-4 ATS this season when playing with just one day of rest between games.
Stony Brook returns home after a bad loss at NJIT, who had previously dropped seven in a row. That game was decided on a late three. The Seawolves have also dropped two straight home games, but one was to Vermont, who is 10-0 in the conference. I sense there will be a tremendous motivation to win here after the America East’s ruling and because the Seawolves don’t want to lose another home game.
New Hampshire is 1-8 on the road this year and has not won a single time as an underdog (0-6). Lay the points.
|02-06-22||Iona v. Niagara +7.5||Top||71-80||Win||100||6 h 33 m||Show|
Vermont, Houston, Longwood, Wagner, Murray State, Auburn, South Dakota State, Gonzaga … and Iona. Those are the only teams in College Basketball yet to lose a conference game.
I’ll be playing against Iona, the top team in the MAAC, today. The Gaels have won their first 11 conference games by an average of 11.5 points. But they face a tricky spot here, visiting Niagara.
Niagara is middle of the pack in the conference, but is coming off two straight wins. The Purple Eagles won at Monmouth, then returned home to defeat Manhattan. Their record over the L6 games is 3-3 straight up, but the three losses were all by six points or less.
Now the first meeting with Iona didn’t go well. Niagara lost that one by 23 points, as a 10-point underdog. But that was in Iona’s gym. All three times that the Gaels lost this season, the game was played away from home.
Furthermore, Iona has failed to cover in its last two games. Both were eight-point wins. Niagara is on a 15-5-1 ATS run as a home dog. Take the points.
|02-06-22||Providence v. Georgetown +7||Top||71-52||Loss||-110||5 h 34 m||Show|
Providence might be the 15th ranked team in the country right now, but oddsmakers do not think very much of the Friars and neither do I. They are first in the Big East with a 9-1 conference record and have won six straight. But, according to most power ranking systems, Providence would be an underdog to at least five BE teams, on a neutral floor.
Here, the Friars are favored, on the road, so I think it’s an opportune time to fade. Georgetown has been struggling, but did cover the first meeting with Providence, as 10-point underdogs, losing only 83-75. That was even with the Hoyas shooting much worse, 40% for the game compared to 52.9% for the Friars.
Of Providence’s nine Big East wins this year, seven have been by eight points or less. Only one has been by more than 10. The Friars have played with fire all year and have one of the better records in the country in close games. They aren’t the kind of team you want to lay points with regularly.
Georgetown’s leading scorer and rebounder, Aminu Mohammed, was 1 for 13 from the field in the last game and finished with a career-low four points. He will play better Sunday.
I know it’s been a tough year for Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas. They’ve lost 10 in a row. But expect them to cover here. Take the points.
|02-05-22||Kentucky v. Alabama -1.5||Top||66-55||Loss||-110||9 h 14 m||Show|
Alabama continues its brutal schedule with a visit from Kentucky. This will be the third consecutive top five opponent for the Crimson Tide.
Last Saturday, they hosted Baylor, who was ranked #4 at the time. On Tuesday, they lost to #1 Auburn.
Including the win over Baylor last Saturday, the Tide have beaten three of last year’s Final Four. Earlier in the season, they defeated Houston and Gonzaga - in consecutive games.
Yes, Bama is favored now. That tells you what kind of team this is. Kentucky is now #4, having won seven of eight including at Kansas last Saturday. But all four Wildcats’ losses have come outside of Lexington. They are just 3-3 in true road games.
Alabama has lost only one game in Tuscaloosa and that was by four to Auburn. Looking at the last month’s ATS results, it’s been a disappointing run for the Tide. But they are my pick here. Watch out for their three-point shooting to improve in this game.
|02-05-22||Penn State +8.5 v. Wisconsin||Top||49-51||Win||100||8 h 3 m||Show|
Things have suddenly gone a bit sideways for Wisconsin, who is 0-4 ATS its last four and lost twice straight up. Both losses did come to ranked teams, Michigan State and Illinois, but they were also by double digits. That’s a troubling sign for the Badgers.
The team from Madison had won seven in a row prior to losing to Michigan State on January 21st. But five of the wins were by six points or less. This isn’t a team that wins big very often. They have three double digits wins all season, all of them coming December 4th or earlier (two were in November).
So I’ll gladly take the points with Penn State tonight. The Nittany Lions are off a double overtime win over Iowa, but that was on Monday, so they’ve had plenty of time to recover. Wisconsin’s game in Illinois, which they lost, was on Wednesday. It’s a quicker turnaround for the favorite and they could be looking ahead to getting revenge against Michigan State on Tuesday.
Penn State is 6-3 ATS as an underdog this season. They covered the number at Purdue and also upset Indiana.
In 12 of their 13 games, Wisconsin has either lost or won by nine points or less. Take the points.
|02-05-22||NC-Greensboro +11.5 v. Furman||Top||58-56||Win||100||4 h 28 m||Show|
Furman has been rolling, but expect them to stumble a bit Saturday afternoon against UNC Greensboro.
Now leading the Southern Conference, the Paladins have lost just one time since January 1st. That was by two points at Chattanooga, who is in second place. Furman is on an eight-game ATS win streak as well. During that win streak, six of their seven SU wins have come by 15 points or more.
That’s really impressive, but probably not sustainable. Three days ago against The Citadel, they scored 102 points, including a season-high 63 in the first half. There’s only one way to go following a performance like that.
When Furman faced UNC Greensboro earlier this year, it was a tight, low-scoring contest. The Paladins escaped with a 58-54 win. That was their lowest scoring game of the year, probably owed to the fact that Greensboro plays at one of the slowest tempos in the entire country.
Playing slow should allow the underdog Spartans to keep this one close. After dropping five of their last seven, this is a team desperate for a win. Take the points.
|02-04-22||San Diego State +3.5 v. Colorado State||Top||57-58||Win||100||14 h 37 m||Show|
The Mountain West has six teams ranked in the KenPom top 52 and these are two of them. Colorado State, despite starting the year with 11 consecutive victories, is the lowest rated of the six. They have lost two in a row to fall to 16-3 on the year. Their first loss was an ugly one, 79-49 at San Diego State. That’s who they’ll face again tonight.
The Aztecs are just 4-2 in conference play and 12-5 overall, but they have a top five defense in adjusted efficiency and are second highest among Mt West teams in the KenPom ratings. Not only did they wallop CSU in the first meeting, they’ve won seven of nine.
I mentioned that SDSU has a top five defense. They are actually #2 in adjusted defensive efficiency and give up just 56.8 points/game. They say that “defense travels” and so you should count on the Aztecs not allowing many points here. Again, they held Colorado State to just 49 points in the first meeting.
In the last nine games, only Utah State has been able to score more than 60 against San Diego State. Meanwhile, Colorado State has just given up 88 points to UNLV and 84 points to Wyoming in its last two games.
Given how easily San Diego State won the first meeting, I’ve got to take them as a slight dog in the rematch. They are the better team and have swept the season series from CSU 12 of the past 22 seasons. They’ve even won 11 of the last 15 here at Moby Arena. Take the points.
|02-04-22||Dartmouth v. Yale -7.5||Top||69-72||Loss||-110||10 h 37 m||Show|
Yale had a bit of a rocky road in non-conference play, finishing up just 6-8 straight up and 4-9 against the spread (one game had no line). But since Ivy League play has commenced, it’s been a return to form with a 4-1 mark SU and 3-2 ATS.
Tonight, the Bulldogs are at home and facing Dartmouth, who is one of the weaker Ivy League teams. The Big Green are just 5-12 this year, straight up, and have a losing record in conference play. They did win their last game, however, beating Columbia 76-63 as 5.5 point road favorites. That Dartmouth was even favored on the road should tell you how bad Columbia must be.
My records only go back to 2016, but Yale has beaten Dartmouth at least 10 straight times, covering the spread in each of the last seven. They’ve been favored every time. So it’s been a one-sided rivalry.
Yale just got a big win last Saturday, beating Princeton by six as three-point underdogs. The Bulldogs are now just a half game out of first place. They can’t afford to slip up here. Thus expect a focused effort.
The Bulldogs are averaging 81.5 points/game at home this year while Dartmouth averages only 66.1 points/game on the road. Before beating Columbia, the Big Green had dropped seven straight on the road. Lay the points here.
|02-03-22||USC -6 v. Arizona State||Top||58-53||Loss||-109||16 h 33 m||Show|
Less than one month ago, USC was one of the last few remaining unbeaten teams in College Basketball. Fast forward to the present and the Trojans are just 5-3 the last eight games. But they did beat Cal 79-72 last Saturday, ensuring they’d remain in the Top 25. Southern Cal comes into tonight’s game ranked #19 in the country.
Stanford has handed the Trojans two of its three losses. Against everyone else, USC is 18-1 this year. They beat Arizona State by 22, 78-56, just over a week ago. Even with this game being in Tempe, I don’t think there’s much reason to expect things will go any different.
The Trojans played a “clean” game against Cal, committing only four turnovers. But it was one of their weaker defensive efforts, just the second time all season that an opponent shot 50% or better. Expect things to be ratcheted up at that end tonight.
Arizona State is one of the Pac 12’s weakest teams. They’ve lost three in a row and six of their last seven. The Sun Devils only win since December 14th was by two points over last place Utah.
USC has covered five straight times against ASU and tonight should be no different. I’ve got no problem laying single digits on the road with the vastly superior team. The Sun Devils have failed to even score 60 in four of their last six games.
|02-03-22||Western Illinois v. Oral Roberts -6.5||Top||90-85||Loss||-110||13 h 33 m||Show|
You may not be all that familiar with the Summit League, but there’s one team (South Dakota State) well out in front with a perfect 11-0 conference record. Oral Roberts (9-2) is second and if they want to keep pace, they’ll need to take care of Western Illinois (4-6) tonight. I think they will.
Oral Roberts has won eight of its past nine games. The lone loss was their home game and they fell by just a single point, 72-71 to North Dakota State. The Eagles have since gone out on the road and defeated both Omaha and Denver, racking up a lot of points in the process. They scored 100 and 89 in those two wins.
ORU averages 87.7 points per game at home, so you should again expect lots of points from them tonight. Western Illinois, who just gave up 83 in their last game, a loss to UMKC, allows 78.1 points per game on the road.
Western Illinois has dropped 7 of its last 10 overall. They let UMKC shoot 56% on Monday and dropped to 3-7 ATS in conference play. The Leathernecks have lost the last five meetings with Oral Roberts.
Led by Max Abmas, ORU is one of the five highest scoring teams in all of College Basketball. They’ll score enough to cover the spread tonight.
|02-02-22||Maryland-Baltimore County +2.5 v. Albany||Top||59-53||Win||100||12 h 47 m||Show|
A rare move to the America East Conference for this play where I will take UMBC, the only team to ever make the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 as a 16-seed, to cover the spread.
Right now though, the Retrievers aren’t really thinking about the NCAA Tournament. They find themselves at just 4-4 in conference play and 9-10 overall. Their opponent on Wednesday is Albany, who has a similar record (5-4 in conference play, 9-12 overall).
Both teams have played better lately. UMBC has won three in a row. Albany, though off a loss to conference leader Vermont, is 5-3 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games.
Albany hasn’t been all that strong at home this year (3-4 SU) and are not a great offensive team, averaging just 62.0 PPG. After being blitzed by Vermont (allowed 56.9% shooting), the Great Danes probably aren’t in a great position to be favored tonight. They’ve been favorites in only four games prior to this one.
But most important of all is that this is a revenge game for UMBC, who lost to Albany 66-54 as a 4.5-point home favorite, two weeks ago. That was a bad shooting night for the Retrievers, who made only 17 field goals the entire game. In the three games since, they have scored 88, 73 and 70 points. Expect a much better offensive showing tonight and take the points.
|02-02-22||Drake -3.5 v. Indiana State||Top||85-67||Win||100||12 h 46 m||Show|
Drake, who is coming off a big upset of Loyola Chicago, now turns its attention to a much lesser Missouri Valley foe - Indiana State. The Bulldogs win on Saturday squared them up with Loyola for the MVC lead. Indiana State is just 2-6 in conference play and that’s why they are a home dog here.
Sunday saw ISU lose by 15 at Bradley. It was the Sycamores’ fifth loss in six games and saw season-lows in field goal percentage (34.0) and three-pointers made (five). They were dominated on the inside, gave up too many second chance points and turned the ball over 15 times. All in all, a poor effort for Larry Bird’s alma mater.
Drake has not been especially good at covering the spread this season (5-14 ATS), but they are winning games. They’ve won 13 of 16. Now three of the wins have been in overtime and three wins last month were by a single point. But taking down Loyola Chicago, who was a Top 25 team not too long ago, was rather impressive.
The Bulldogs didn’t even shoot all that well in the 77-68 upset. But they scored 45 points in the second half. Five of the last six games, they’ve topped 70. Indiana State, meanwhile, has scored 56 or less in three of its last five games. This should be an easy win for the favorite.
|02-01-22||Texas +5.5 v. Texas Tech||Top||64-77||Loss||-110||13 h 6 m||Show|
Texas vs. Texas Tech is a Top 25 matchup on Tuesday’s docket. Both are 16-5. Texas Tech is ranked higher and favored, due to being at home. But the underdog is the play here.
No doubt Texas Tech has been covering games lately. They are 8-1 against the spread the last nine games. They’ve lost twice straight up, but one of those was a multi-OT game at Kansas. The Red Raiders had already beaten Kansas once this year and they also hold a win over Baylor.
But Texas leads the country in scoring defense at 54.5 points per game allowed. They are a tough team to beat, let alone beat by any kind of substantial margin. In what promises to be another low-scoring affair in the Big 12, taking the points just seems like a sound decision.
Longhorns coach Chris Beard left Texas Tech after last season. He knows the opponent well.
Texas Tech won’t shoot 61% again like they did vs. Mississippi State over the weekend. Texas’ defense keeps this one close and I can see an upset happening.
|02-01-22||Boston College v. Virginia -8.5||Top||55-67||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
This may seem like a lot of points to lay with a Virginia team that doesn’t score all that much. But the Hoos have proven to be resilient off a loss and play great defense. Boston College is also not good on the road.
Virginia is one of 13 teams in the country that is allowing fewer than 60 points per game. Playing at home tonight, you should bank on them allowing less than 60 points.
Saturday saw the Cavaliers lose 69-65 at Notre Dame. It was a bad shooting night from three with them making just 3 of 14 from behind the arc. Fortunately, Virginia has a 4-0 ATS record so far off a conference loss. They shoot a respectable 34.4% from three at home.
Boston College, who is coming off a rare win, is just 1-8 away from home this year. That one win was by two over Clemson. The Eagles are averaging less than 60 points/game on the road.
Coming off an ACC win, BC is 0-3 ATS. So lay the points in this one.
|01-31-22||Pacific v. Santa Clara -12||Top||59-81||Win||100||13 h 2 m||Show|
Everybody looks up to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference, but there’s actually a pretty strong top four in the league this season with BYU, St. Mary’s and San Francisco all looking like they’re NCAA Tournament worthy. But we’re not talking about any of those teams today. We’ve got a matchup of teams in the bottom half of the WCC, Pacific and Santa Clara.
I think Santa Clara has a substantial edge on Monday. The Broncos are coming off a series of close games, an overtime win against San Diego, a win at the buzzer over BYU and an overtime loss to San Francisco. They are just 3-3 SU in conference play, but 9-3 at home and far more respectable than tonight’s opponent.
Pacific is 1-4 SU in conference play and 0-7 on the road. The Tigers just recorded their first WCC win of the campaign on Saturday, shocking BYU 76-73 as a 12-point underdog. Before that, they were on a seven-game losing streak and almost every loss was by double digits.
Not only have the Tigers yet to win a true road game this year, they are also 0-7 ATS in those games. Their overall ATS mark this year is 3-14, very poor and among the worst in the country.
With Santa Clara averaging just over 80 points per game at home, I just don’t see how Pacific is going to be able to stay within the number here. Lay the points.
|01-29-22||Oklahoma v. Auburn -9.5||Top||68-86||Win||100||6 h 60 m||Show|
Coming off a close call against Missouri, I expect Auburn to deliver a knockout blow to Oklahoma on Saturday. This time, the Tigers, who are ranked #1 for the first time in program history, are at home. The Tigers have won their ten home games this year by an average of 18.8 points.
Oklahoma just ended a four-game losing streak by winning at West Virginia. The Sooners have been competitive at times this year, but this will be their third game against a top five opponent in the last 11 days. It’s a really horrid spot for them.
Against Missouri, Auburn simply did not shoot the ball well. They made only 30 percent from the field and scored only 55 points. That was after scoring 80 or more in six straight games. Look for the Tigers to get back on track offensively this afternoon.
OU is shooting less than 30 percent from three, on the road, this season. That’s not going to cut it here.
The Sooners have won nine straight games against SEC competition. That streak ends here. The Tigers pounce. Lay the number.
|01-28-22||Lehigh v. Holy Cross +5||Top||65-67||Win||100||7 h 57 m||Show|
Lehigh has covered three straight games, but all of those were as underdogs. Tonight marks just the second time in conference action that they’re favored and once again the opponent is Holy Cross. The Mountain Hawks did win and cover that first matchup, 77-69 laying 6.5 points, back on January 10th. But that was at home and with HC having a poor shooting night.
The line for this game, at Holy Cross, is almost the same as it was for the game three weeks ago. That seems strange. Lehigh is just 2-12 ATS its last 14 games as a favorite and 1-5 ATS in that role this season. Tonight is the first time in 2021-22 that they have been giving points on the road.
Holy Cross’ record is a pretty woeful 3-15, but this is a game the Crusaders can win. Even though they missed 14 of the 18 three-point attempts they took, the first meeting with Lehigh was decided by only eight points. HC shoots much better from behind the arc when they are at home (38%).
All of the Crusaders wins this year have come at home. Lehigh is 9-29 in its last 38 road games, 3-8 this season. Take the points.
|01-27-22||Wisconsin v. Nebraska +8||Top||73-65||Push||0||8 h 28 m||Show|
Off a loss, last Friday, you may think that the smart money is on #11 Wisconsin to bounce back here. But the Badgers are ranked too high and after previously winning seven in a row, they’re due to start giving some back.
Wisconsin had also covered five in a row before running into Michigan State last week. They lost 86-74 last Friday, playing without third leading scorer Wahl. The team’s leading scorer, Davis, missed 10 of 13 shots in the first half as the Badgers fell behind by 16.
There have been four games this season where Wisconsin has rallied from a double digit deficit to win. That seems a bit fortuitous.
Now it’s not been a good season in Lincoln as Nebraska has lost six straight and 11 of the last 12. This game, which was originally going to take place on Tuesday, had to be moved back as the Cornhuskers were dealing with COVID. But trust me when I say there’s nothing they’d like more here than to play “spoiler.”
When Wisconsin won seven in a row, five of those wins were by six points or less. They don’t dominate and won’t be able to win by a large margin here tonight.
|01-26-22||VCU +3.5 v. Davidson||Top||70-68||Win||100||9 h 7 m||Show|
So we’re going with VCU here, based on how the line is moving and the fact I don’t believe Davidson should be ranked. Sure, the Wildcats are among the hottest teams in the country right now with 15 straight wins. But the last three have been by a total of eight points.
I view Davidson’s #25 ranking as a bit of a “ok we acknowledge what you’re doing” from the oddsmakers. But I don’t think anyone REALLY thinks this is a Top 25 team. The Wildcats were expected to be middle of the pack in the Atlantic 10 this year.
One of Davidson’s recent three close victories, all of which were on the road, came at VCU. The Wildcats ended that game on a 10-2 run. That was one of just two losses for VCU since the beginning of December.
The Rams are a top three team (in the country!) in adjusted defensive efficiency. So I believe they can limit Davidson from three-point range. The Wildcats have been making a living behind the arc, making 41% of their attempts, second best in the country.
VCU is coming off a 70-54 win over St. Joe’s and looking for revenge. Davidson, who was down 47-40 to lowly Fordham in the second half on Saturday, is coming off three straight road games that went down to the wire and may have little left in the tank. Take the points here.
|01-26-22||Iowa State +4 v. Oklahoma State||Top||84-81||Win||100||12 h 57 m||Show|
Iowa State continues to get little respect as they are underdogs for their visit to Stillwater on Wednesday night. The lack of respect stems from the fact the Cyclones have dropped five of their last seven games, following a 12-0 start. They have only two conference victories since the start of last year, both coming this season. But I will take them plus the points in this spot, noting Oklahoma State’s own slump and inability to score points.
Over their last 10 games, OSU is just 4-6 and averaging 64.3 points while shooting 39.7%. That’s not good. On Saturday, the Cowboys went down at the hands of Texas, 56-51 as 10-point road underdogs.
Tonight will mark just the second time in the last nine games that the Pokes have been favored. They did win the other time, but just by one point (against TCU) and thus did not cover the spread. OSU only has four double digit victories all year and the last one was right before Thanksgiving.
Iowa State continues to be solid, defensively. They allow just 59.9 points per game as opponents are shooting just 40.8%.
So with Oklahoma State unlikely to score much tonight, it seems quite logical to grab the points. They have actually failed to cover the spread six straight times as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points.
|01-25-22||Arizona v. UCLA +2.5||Top||59-75||Win||100||14 h 5 m||Show|
These are the two top teams in the Pac 12 and two of the top 10 in the country. Arizona is #3 in the latest poll and got one first place vote. UCLA moved up a couple spots to #8.
This game was supposed to take place on December 30th, but UCLA was dealing with COVID issues. The delay may have worked in the Bruins’ favor as fan restrictions have now been lifted and they can enjoy a sense of “home court” advantage at Pauley Pavillion.
Arizona’s one loss this season was on the road, to a Top 25 team. They fell 77-73 at Tennessee on December 22nd. The Wildcats have looked impressive since then, posting five straight double digit wins in conference play. But other than Illinois, they haven’t beaten that many quality teams this year.
UCLA beat Villanova back in November and also went to Marquette and won. One of their losses was by just three points, to Oregon, while the other was to #2 Gonzaga.
The Bruins have beaten Arizona five straight times and are 5-0 ATS as well. Look for them to make it six straight tonight.
|01-25-22||Siena v. Iona -15.5||Top||57-74||Win||100||11 h 6 m||Show|
In their last 19 visits, Siena is a fascinating 17-2 ATS when playing at Iona. But tonight should go differently in the MAAC. After almost a full month off (COVID cancellations), Siena will be playing its third straight road game on Tuesday. They lost the last one, 75-68 at Manhattan. Iona is clearly the best team in the conference this year, at 16-3 overall and 8-0 vs. other MAAC teams.
Iona is a big favorite, but that’s not without justification. The Gaels are riding a five-game win streak and their only loss since the beginning of December came by a single point at St. Louis. This is a good team we’re backing today. They are coming off a 15-point win as 8.5 point favorites, on the road, over Quinnipiac Saturday.
Iona hasn’t lost a home game this year, even though they are only shooting 30.4% from three. Their success can be attributed to their FG% defense. Opponents shoot just 39.5% at Iona, including 25.3% from three.
Look for Iona, who averages 78.9 points at home, to shoot better from three tonight. Siena is outside the top 200 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Even worse is that the Saints rank outside the top 300 in adjusted offensive efficiency. Iona ranks in the top 81 nationally at both ends.
This long-standing rivalry between the two upstate New York schools has seen Siena cash more often than not, at least when they’re on the road. But tonight will be different. Lay the points with Iona.
|01-24-22||Idaho v. Portland State -8||Top||84-79||Loss||-108||13 h 14 m||Show|
Playing against a bad team that’s coming off a rare win always seems to be a good idea and that’s what I’m doing here with Idaho. The Vandals won 73-72 on Saturday, beating Sacramento State. It was their first win since before Christmas when they beat a team named “SAGU American Indian College.”
Idaho needed overtime to get that win Saturday. They gave up 42 points in the second half, which was the most points scored by Sacramento State in any half this season.
The win was at home. On the road, Idaho is 0-9. They’ve lost 30 of 33 road games the last three years.
Portland State’s only win since Christmas also came against Sacramento State. But that was back on 1/15. Since then, the Vikings have lost three in a row. They know tonight is their best chance at a win in some time.
This will also be PSU’s third straight home game. Next they’ve got Southern Utah, who is one of the better Big Sky teams. The fact the Vikings keep visiting teams to 62 points/game (on 38% shooting) tells me they can win this one rather comfortably, so lay the points.
|01-24-22||Mississippi Valley State v. Southern -18.5||Top||72-100||Win||100||12 h 15 m||Show|
Miss Valley State is as bad as any College Basketball team in the country. They have just one win this season and it came by two points, in overtime, against a Prairie View A&M squad that also happens to be rated among the nation’s very worst. Since that lone win, the Delta Devils have been blown out by Texas Southern and been rather competitive in three other defeats. Tonight’s game is likely to go poorly for them.
Southern U is coming off a 48-point win on Saturday where they almost scored 100 points (99). They shot 56.5% and held Ark-Pine Bluff to 31.4%. The win was the Jaguars’ seventh in the last nine games. The two losses both came on the road and one was at Dayton.
Southern has only played five games at home this season. They’re 5-0 and winning by almost 30 points/game. I look for a win of a similar margin here tonight. The last two times they faced MVSU, the game was at home and the margins of victory were 33 and 41 points.
On the road, MVSU is getting beat by 28.5 points/game.
Not only is Southern 12-4 ATS in all of its lined games this season, they are 16-4 ATS in their last 20 home games. Should be an easy one for them on Monday, so be sure to lay the points.
|01-23-22||Xavier v. Marquette +2.5||Top||64-75||Win||100||5 h 10 m||Show|
Red hot Marquette hosts #20 Xavier here. The Golden Eagles have won five in a row and covered the spread every time. They are fresh off an upset of #11 Villanova earlier this week. It was their third straight win over a ranked opponent.
This Marquette team has balance with four players averaging at least 11 points. During the win streak, the Golden Eagles are averaging 79.4 points and giving up only 64.4. Xavier’s last five games, which includes two losses, have been much tighter. The Musketeers are averaging only 70.6 points and giving up 69.4.
The revenge angle is in play here as Xavier beat Marquette back in December, 80-71. But Marquette is obviously playing much better now. They held Providence and Villanova both under 60 points.
Beating ‘Nova was really impressive. Marquette was the first road team to win there since 2018.
So at home, I like the Golden Eagles to handle their business. Xavier has lost twice to Villanova recently and they were a bit lucky to stave off what was almost another loss on Thursday. They were down 10 in the second half to a DePaul team that was playing without its leading scorer. The Musketeers ended up winning by only one point, 68-67. It was the fifth time they failed to cover in the last six games. TAKE THE POINTS
|01-22-22||New Mexico v. Wyoming -10||Top||91-93||Loss||-110||11 h 35 m||Show|
Wyoming has had a couple close calls over its current five-game win streak. But both of those were not at home. In Laramie, the Cowboys are 7-0 with a +26.9 scoring average. I’m surprised they’re not favored by more here, especially with New Mexico on a five game losing streak.
Perhaps the line is shorter than expected because New Mexico is 11-5-1 ATS. Wednesday was the fifth time they’ve covered in the last six games. But this is a situation where the Lobos are simply overmatched. The oddsmakers were a bit too generous in giving them 16 points at Colorado State. But that game saw New Mexico shoot better than expected and make 14 threes.
Don’t think they’ll do that again. Wyoming is excellent defensively as it is allowing less than 40 percent shooting for the year. The Cowboys just won by 15 on Wednesday against San Jose State, keeping their perfect conference record intact. Four minutes into the game, they took the lead and never relinquished it.
New Mexico allowing 83.4 points on the road is a problem, for them at least. Wyoming’s only two losses this year were to Pac 12 teams, one of which was Arizona. The home team is just way better. Lay the points with WYOMING
|01-22-22||Coppin State v. Norfolk State -6||Top||77-84||Win||100||9 h 5 m||Show|
Both Coppin State and Norfolk State are on 3-0 ATS win streaks entering Saturday. But the similarities end there. Norfolk State has simply been the better team all year. They have an 11-4 straight up record on the season while Coppin State has won only three games straight up all year.
Norfolk State has also won all three of the games it has covered in a row. The last one was a 14-point victory at MD-Eastern Shore. That game saw the Spartans pull away in the second half. After playing so many games on the road the last two months, Norfolk State will be glad to be back home. They’ve won all four games on their home court and done so by an average of 36 points per contest!
Coppin State was a small underdog in recent wins over South Carolina State and Morgan State. Before those wins, the Eagles had lost nine in a row. Last Saturday’s win came on a buzzer beater from beyond halfcourt. Coppin State trailed by 10 at halftime against Morgan State. So had it not been for the buzzer beater, we’d be talking about a team that had lost 10 of 11.
Like Norfolk, Coppin State has played most of its games on the road. Problem is they are 2-13 away from home, those two wins coming each of the last two Saturdays. Can’t see them making it three in a row. Norfolk State is the best team in the MEAC and should win handily. Play on NORFOLK STATE