Saturday, January 10, 2015

College Basketball Picks - Saturday, January 10

Connecticut -4.5 v. Cincinnati.  Another interesting 11 AM tip in the American.  Like I said before the South Florida game, the win at the O'Dome seems to have really kick-started the national title defense.  The Bearcats will miss their head man going up against Kevin Ollie too.

Indiana +1.5 v. Ohio State.  This should be fun.  Not picking against the Hoosiers at home though, especially if I'm getting points.

Elon +4 v. Hofstra.  Elon!  The Phoenix are 10-6 and 2-1 in the CAA after upsetting William & Mary on Thursday.  They'd be on a 6 game winning streak if they hadn't somehow lost at Towson on Monday.  I know, I was shocked by all that too.  This should be a fast paced shootout between two of the conference's biggest surprises.

Providence -2.5 v. Georgetown.  I continue to have no idea what to expect from the Friars game in and out but the Hoyas have played exactly one road game all year and they were walloped at Xavier on New Year's Eve so I can't take them here.

Clemson +8 @ Pittsburgh.  Panthers should be a bit drained from the OT comeback win at BC on Tuesday and with a noon tip, this should be as ugly offensively from both sides as I'm expecting so I want the points.

Buffalo PK @ Western Michigan.  Said the other day I'm selling WMU stock, still buying up Buffalo's though.

Georgia Tech +2.5 @ Wake Forest.  Jackets are clearly the better team and getting points.  Deacs should have a letdown performance after nearly shocking Duke on Wednesday.

George Washington -2 @ La Salle.  An A-10 title contender handles roadtrips like this.

Duquesne +8 v. Rhode Island.  I continue to be lukewarm on the Rams but at least for them Nebraska's starting to look like a competent basketball team again so that's good for their resume.

Michigan -1.5 v. Minnesota.  These two played a heck of a hockey game AND had a heck of a wrestling meet tonight.  Wolverines won in hockey, the Gophers in wrestling.  Rubber match!

Northeastern -5.5 @ Towson.  Yeah I'm not picking Towson after what I saw up close in person the other night.

Seton Hall PK @ Creighton.  This is a total trap line but I'll fall in to it rather than take a team who just trailed throughout at home against DePaul.

North Carolina -3.5 v. Louisville.  Just thinking that the Cards will go cold at some point and fall out of the game.  But yeah this is a huge game and might be an early elimination game in the ACC regular season title chase.

VCU -16 v. Saint Joseph's.  They've improved since then but I can't stop thinking about just how badly Gonzaga beat the daylights out of the Hawks.  They might get run like that again at Havoc.

Xavier +3 @ Butler.  Picking these Big East games is predictably difficult and that's before accounting for the fact that DePaul looks to be on the level as most everyone else at this point.  I just want the points here.

Georgia State -17.5 v. Troy.  Of preseason low major favorites, I'm already done with Denver and I'm getting there with Wofford.  I'm fed up with these guys too, they really need to put it on a terrible Troy.

Colorado State -5.5 @ Air Force.  Bounceback performance for the Rams after a tough home loss to Wyoming.

Evansville -2 @ Bradley.  I'll be SHOCKED if there's another line more nonsensical than this one.

Tennessee -2 v. Alabama.  Big early season SEC bubble game.  Gimmie the home team.

Maryland +1 @ Purdue.  I'm gonna "no comment" this one after how things went down Wednesday.

Kansas -15 v. Texas Tech.  Ahahahahahah I just remembered the end of that Baylor game.  Seriously though that was a huge, HUGE win for this Jayhawk team, which should roll.  Maybe they won't roll like this but they should roll nonetheless.

Kentucky -13.5 @ Texas A&M.  I'm guessing this is the first ever time CBS has gone to College Station for a basketball game.

Washington -11.5 v. Washington State.  It's a rivalry game but should be a needed breather for the Huskies, who have already had a week to recover from an OT war at Stanford.

Detroit -4 v. Oakland.  A Horizon league Michigan derby!

Temple -4.5 v. Tulsa.  Temple is becoming Team ESPNEWS.

Louisiana Tech -10 @ Texas San Antonio.  REALLY nice performance by the Bulldogs the other night, holding UTEP under 50 on its home floor.  That's called "asserting yourself as the main challenger to the MONARCHy."  Get it?  Because Old Dominion's the Monarchs......okay what's the next game.

Florida International +5 @ UAB.  I have no idea what to make of either team so I'm taking the points.

Rice -3 v. North Texas.  Owls are actually 3-3 after a 1-6 start and battled UTEP in their last game.  Mean Green have lost four straight since that inexplicable victory over Creighton.

Ohio +8 @ Bowling Green.  If I keep pretending Ohio's the MAC power it used to be, maybe it will become one again?

Indiana State +4 @ Southern Illinois.  Is it "Completely Ridiculous Lines In The Valley" day?

Northern Iowa -13.5 @ Drake.  See above, even though this is a Big 4 battle and thus Drake should be up for this more than any other game.  It's still Drake.  They're still really, really bad.

Baylor -1.5 @ TCU.  Unless the Bears are completely hungover from blowing that Kansas game, they should easily cover this.

DePaul +21 @ Villanova.  DEPAUL!  God I hope they're not a mirage.  I really like them.  I think it's that blue and black although they were in ALL REDS at Creighton and looked damn good - literally and figuratively - in them.  They're unbeaten in the Big East.  Might be the last night we get to say that :(

Gonzaga -25 v. Santa Clara.  Yawn just another beatdown at the Kennel.

Portland -6.5 v. San Francisco.  Dons actually looked good at the Kennel on Thursday night for a while....and then they didn't.

Miami (FL) -9 v. Boston College.  That's a looooooooooooooong road trip after blowing a late double digit lead at home and losing in OT in midweek.  Also I still think Miami's a good team, even though they did - and yes you can fact check this for yourself - lose at home to Eastern Kentucky by 28.

Arkansas -9 v. Vanderbilt.  Arkansas at home.

Central Michigan -4.5 @ Ball State.  I already can't wait for Central Michigan/Buffalo.  January 21....and then FEBRUARY 14!  MY LOVES PLAY ON VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

Texas +3 @ Oklahoma State.  They CAN'T play as badly as they did on Big Monday in the Red River Rivalry.  It's literally not possible.  Bounceback time for a really good team that didn't show it against OU.

Princeton -7.5 v. Penn.  It bugs the crap out of me that this isn't on a Tuesday in early February like it should be.  This wouldn't happen if both were still Ivy powers.

South Carolina +3.5 @ Mississippi.  Pick against the Rebels at home, pick them literally anywhere else.  That aside, this is an obvious letdown spot after the heartbreak at Rupp.

Oregon -5.5 v. Arizona State.  Not a great performance from the Ducks in their home shot at Arizona.  At least they get to 50, which ASU did not in Corvallis.

Georgia Southern -3.5 @ South Alabama.  Jaguars have won two straight against Division 1 competition after being winless against it up until this week.  But MARK BYINGTON'S boys have done me well all season.

Eastern Michigan -4.5 @ Miami (Ohio).  Ugly loss for the Eagles vs Ball State on Wednesday.  Time to get it together.  Though now I want to see Ball State/Michigan in the Jason Whitlock Bowl.

Texas State -6 v. UL Monroe.  Bobcats are continuing to trend upward.

Western Kentucky +1.5 v. Old Dominion.  Monarchs aren't gonna run the C-USA table and this seems a really likely spot to eat a loss.

Arkansas Little Rock -7 v. Appalachian State.  I don't think either's any good.  My opinion of ULAR has fallen recently but they're still better than Appy.


Wyoming -6 v. Boise State.  Cowboys might have made a statement of intent to SDSU that they're the top challenger to the throne with that win at Colorado State.  Now back to Laramie where they're usually dominant.

Delaware +5.5 @ College of Charleston.  Blue Hens have been exponentially better ever since they got to start playing real live upperclassmen.

Notre Dame +1.5 v. Virginia.  Man am I pissed that this is during the second half of the Ravens game.  At least if we're getting Gronk'd (he hasn't been healthy for either of the last two playoff meetings we've had with them which is part of why I'm taking them) I'll have something to flip over to.  Anyway time for the Wahoos to eat a loss too.  Joyce should be ROCKING for this.  Oh man I'm getting even more bummed I'm not gonna see this.

Pepperdine +5 @ San Diego.  How about the WAVES going in to Provo and pretty much controlling things throughout?  They might be the surprise package in the WCC this year.

Oklahoma -14.5 v. Kansas State.  A true Big 12 title contender has zero problems here.

Missouri +6 @ Auburn.  Plus SIX?!?!  Whoever made this line is aware Mizzou just beat LSU, right?

Drexel +5.5 @ UNC Wilmington.  I've fallen back in love with Damion Lee after seeing him close out Towson in person.

James Madison +10.5 @ William & Mary.  Just feels like the margin will be single digits.

Dayton -7.5 @ Fordham.  Dayton being a pick 'em at St. Bonaventure was pretty hilarious.  This isn't as bad but still pretty bad.

Davidson -13.5 v. Saint Louis.  Two teams that just don't feel right in the Atlantic 10.

Charlotte -6 @ Marshall.  Another puzzling line for me.  Charlotte's at least remotely decent at basketball.  Marshall's not.

Florida -17.5 v. Mississippi State.  MASSIVE road win for the Gators at South Carolina on Wednesday.  That should get their SEC season - and their season period - up and running.  Time to compound that with the expected blowout here.

Harvard -6 @ Dartmouth.  What am I missing here?

West Virginia -4 v. Iowa State.  8 PM tip which means the business end of this should come well after Seattle has put Carolina away.

Valparaiso -5 v. Cleveland State.  If the Vikings are gonna get in to the Horizon title chase like they were SUPPOSED to be, they'll need to start here.

Kent State -1 @ Northern Illinois.  Seems generous.

Middle Tennessee State -4.5 v. Florida Atlantic.  I still can't tell if FAU's mediocre or bad but I'm pretty sure MTSU's decent-ish.

Arkansas State +5.5 @ Texas Arlington.  Points plus I give Arky State the benefit of the doubt up against other middling Sun Belt teams because other middling Sun Belt teams didn't beat the crap out of Mississippi State at The Hump.

BYU -21 v. Loyola Marymount.  Just when I wanted to stop picking big BYU spreads at home too...

LSU -3 v. Georgia.  Another big SEC bubble game and another default to the home team.

New Mexico -1 @ Utah State.  I actually think the Lobos are going in the right direction despite getting The Show'd earlier in the week.  USU's just middling.

UTEP -17.5 v. Southern Mississippi.  Perfect rebound opponent for the Miners.

UNLV -21 v. San Jose State.  Perfect rebound opponent for the Rebs.

Long Beach State -1 @ UC Davis.  The 11 PM ESPNU game!  Looking forward to this.  Two of the Big West title contenders and the two who have been in my first two brackets (the third is coming next Friday.)

UC Santa Barbara -1.5 @ Cal Poly.  One team has Alan Williams the other doesn't.

UC Irvine -11 v. UC Riverside.  Jesus, how many more games are there?

Saint Mary's -7 @ Pacific.  This seems a few points low at least.

Hawaii -9 v. CS Northridge.  This should be comfortable for the Bows after a surprising OT loss to Cal Poly.

Denver -1.5 @ IUPUI.  Falling back in love with the Pioneers again FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY.

Iona -11 v. Canisius.  My once hyped MAAC title game isn't so much after the Golden Griffins have come back to Earth a bit.

Rider -3 v. Saint Peter's.  RIDER BANDWAGON.

North Dakota -3 v. Portland State.  Seriously, it's gotta be over soon.

East Tennessee State -4.5 v. Chattanooga.  Nope, still plenty more.

VMI +1 @ Furman.  A real live opportunity to take the lightning fast Keydets!

The Citadel +11 @ Mercer.  Chuck Driesell has definitely improved the Dogs.

Northern Arizona -11 v. Southern Utah.  The Big Sky gave the Thunderbirds three road games to start conference play after they haven't had a home game against a D1 school since the day before Thanksgiving?!  That's rough.

Belmont -3 @ Eastern Illinois.  This might be crazier than that Evansville line I picked like 15 hours ago (at least that's what it feels like.)

Western Carolina -9 v. UNC Greensboro.  They seem relatively decent for the SoCon and Greensboro is bad.  Are we almost done?

South Dakota State +2 @ Nebraska Omaha.  Not sure why the bookmakers have been giving UNO credit lately.  That Marquette win was a long, long time ago.

IPFW -3 v. South Dakota.  Oh man I hope they make the tournament and the nation goes crazy over the MASTODONS.

Eastern Kentucky -4 @ SE Missouri State.  I miss when I had faith in DICKEY NUTT :(

Morehead State +2 @ Tennessee Martin.  Second time this week I like them to win straight up on the road and I'm 1/1.

Manhattan -9.5 v. Niagara.  And I'm 0/1 on the week in taking the Purple Eagles against league competition I thought was as bad as they were.

Wofford -13.5 v. Samford.  Like I said 15 hours ago when I picked the Georgia State game, I'm souring quickly on the Terriers.  Hopefully that changes here.

SIU Edwardsville -12.5 v. Tennessee State.  They're actually decent and gave Belmont a real fight at Belmont!  Who knew?!

Oral Roberts -3.5 @ Western Illinois.  Still hate picking literally every single ORU game but hate this one less than most because WIU's really bad.

Tennessee Tech -6.5 v. Austin Peay.  I think they're decent for the OVC and Peay is bad.

Montana -2.5 @ Idaho State.  Couldn't win at Weber, should be able to win here.

Northern Colorado -3 v. Sacramento State.  Almost there...

Weber State -10.5 v. Montana State.  Alllllllllllllmost....

Eastern Washington -2.5 @ Idaho.  Aaaaaaaand we're done!  With a wacky line to boot.  Eagles should cruise if they're that much better than the rest of the league.

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