|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-20-19||South Dakota v. Nebraska-Omaha OVER 149||Top||68-75||Loss||-109||6 h 56 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Over 149 Points - South Dakota @ Nebraska Omaha, Sunday at 7:00 PM ET
UNO is the most efficient offense in the Summit League and they play fast. The Mavs have scored at least 80 points in every league game and they’ve topped 90 in three of their five Summit League games. Going back even further Nebraska Omaha has scored at least 80 in 8 straight games. They are facing a South Dakota defense that has allowed at least 70 points in all 5 of their Summit League games. Now they face the #1 offense in the league and a team that shoots nearly 52% from the field at home. We expect UNO to put up at least 80 here. Defensively, Omaha is bad. While they can score points, they also can’t stop anybody. They rank 323rd nationally in defensive efficiency and 330th in eFG% defense. The Mavs allow 80 PPG on the season. In conference play they are allowing 82 PPG and 4 of the 5 offenses they’ve faced rank 239th or lower in efficiency. In other words, everyone is scoring on Omaha. This total is set at 149 which means the oddsmakers are looking for a 77-72 type final score. We just don’t see it being that low scoring. As we stated we expect Omaha to get to at least 80 and we wouldn’t be surprised if South Dakota pushed upper 70’s to low 80’s here. This is the lowest total set in this series in the last 10 meetings. These to have topped 150 in 6 of their last 7 meetings. Another high scoring game here and we take the OVER here.
|01-19-19||Oklahoma State +13.5 v. Iowa State||59-72||Win||100||7 h 20 m||Show|
ASA 8* CBB PLAY ON Oklahoma State +13.5 over Iowa State, Saturday at 6:00 PM ET
This is a really tough spot for ISU. After losing back to back games vs Baylor & Kansas State, the Cyclones went on the road this week in a close to must win spot @ Texas Tech. We were on ISU and they played great as we expected and pulled the upset. Now they come home and play an Oklahoma State team they’ve already beaten this year and ISU goes to Kansas on Monday. To be entirely focused on this Cowboy team when considering the circumstances will be tough. That would be a mistake because OSU has been playing very well and they’ve been competitive in every Big 12 game despite their 2-3 conference record. Their losses have come by 4, 6, and 10 points with the latter coming @ Oklahoma in a game that was a 4-point game with just 4:00 remaining. In their last 3 games OSU beat Texas at home, beat WVU on the road, and then blew a 2nd half lead and lost to Baylor by 4. In the first meeting between these 2 in early January, the Cowboys led at half and never trailed by more than 7 points in the 2nd half. ISU won 69-63 in a game they led by just 3 points with 2:00 remaining. OSU outrebounded the Cyclones but were -8 in made FT’s which turned out to be the difference in the game. ISU shoots a lot of 3’s and the struggled in that game hitting only 30% (on 30 attempts). We don’t see that changing here as the Cowboys are 2nd in the Big 12 at defending the 3 (in league play) allowing only 29%. If ISU doesn’t go off from deep in this game, we feel Oklahoma State can hang around just as they did a few weeks ago. OSU should have some confidence after playing Iowa State to the wire while the Cyclones will be peaking ahead to their date with Kansas in just 2 days. Take the double digits here.
|01-19-19||Fresno State v. Boise State -1||63-53||Loss||-108||18 h 41 m||Show|
ASA 8* CBB PLAY ON Boise State -1 over Fresno State, Saturday at 5:30 PM ET
The Broncos are playing their best basketball of the season right now. Because they have a losing record (8-9) they are undervalued right now. The started the season winning just 5 of their first 13 games which was a bit surprising as they returned 4 of their top 7 players from a team that finished last year with a 23-9 record. After their slow start they have now won 3 of their last 4 with their only loss coming earlier this week vs #10 Nevada. That was a game Boise led and had the ball with under 1:00 minute remaining in the game but lost 72-71. That’s the same Nevada team that won by 10 @ Fresno last Saturday. Head coach Leon Rice has mentioned how much the defense has improved over the last month and the numbers support that as the Broncos have held 4 of their last 5 opponents to less than 1.00 point per possession. The only offense as of late that was able to top that was Nevada who has the 18th most efficient offense in the country and they barely got over 1.00 PPP (1.03). Fresno relies very heavily on the 3-point shot (38.7 % of their points – 38th nationally) which we are always wary of when teams go on the road. The 3-point shot doesn’t always travel well and Boise allows just 32% from deep at home. Fresno has played a very easy schedule having faced only two teams ranked inside the top 115 since November 23. They are 2-1 on the road, however their wins came against San Jose State (one of the worst teams in the nation) and Utah State (a game FSU didn’t have a lead until the final shot of the game – 78-77 win). Boise has a very good home court advantage – 20-4 since the start of last season – and simply need to win here. The undervalued Broncos get the home win.
|01-19-19||Cincinnati v. Wichita State +4.5||Top||66-55||Loss||-111||14 h 13 m||Show|
ASA 10* PLAY ON Wichita State +4.5 over Cincinnati, Saturday at 2:00 PM ET - AAC GAME OF THE MONTH
We’ve gone against Wichita a few times this year and cashed in. This team was overvalued coming into the season as they lost some key players from last year’s 26-8 NCAA tourney team. They are well coached and have talent, they just weren’t ready to play at their best early in the season, especially on the road. Well this team now looks like the are a play on type team, especially at home as an underdog. After opening the AAC season with an 11 point loss @ Memphis (we were on the Tigers), the Shockers have played quite well. They led a very solid Temple team for all but 50 seconds of regulation but blew a 15 point second half lead and lost by 4 in OT. WSU then traveled to the best team in the AAC (Houston – ranked 26th nationally in Ken Pom) and played very well leading the 16-1 Cougars by 5 points at half. They were still right there with 1:00 minute remaining trailing by just 5 points (they lost by 9). They finally broke into the AAC win column earlier this week upsetting a very good UCF team who came into the game with a 13-2 record. The Shockers led for the final 33 minutes of that game getting the 8 point win. That initial AAC win gives this team some great momentum heading into this game as they had been playing well as we stated, but now broke into the win column. We feel the opposite is true for Cincinnati. They are not playing at the top of their game right now. After beating the worst team in the league, Tulane, handily to open conference play, they have had to battle to the wire in their last 4 games. They are 4-1 in conference play, but they lost @ East Carolina (the 2nd worst team in the league – ranked 226th nationally), needed to come from 6 down with under 2:00 minutes remaining to beat Tulsa in OT, beat UConn at home by 2 in OT, and then held on earlier this week beating USF by 8 at home. Cincy is 15-3 overall but just 2-2 in true road games with their wins coming by 4 @ UNLV (ranked 158th) and in OT @ Tulsa as we mentioned above. They have a negative point differential on the road and their offense has struggled averaging just 66 PPG. Head man Gregg Marshall has built a great program and getting points at home is something they are not used to. This is just the 2nd time since 2009, yes 2009, that WSU has been a home underdog. The other happened to be earlier this week when they beat UCF as a 2-point dog. They do the same here. Wichita pulls the upset.
|01-19-19||Indiana +7.5 v. Purdue||55-70||Loss||-107||14 h 12 m||Show|
ASA 8* CBB PLAY ON Indiana +7.5 over Purdue, Saturday at 2:00 PM ET
The Hoosiers are in a somewhat desperate spot here coming off 3 straight losses and we look for an all out effort vs their in state rival. IU is coming off losses @ Michigan and @ Maryland and then a home setback at the hands of Nebraska. They played Michigan (lost by 9) & Maryland (lost by 2 – blew a 14 point lead) very tough on the road and then played perhaps their worst game of the year at home vs the Huskers on Monday. In that 66-51 loss to Nebraska the Hoosiers shot only 36% overall and made only 2 of their 14 three point attempts. It was just one of those games where everything went wrong. We love looking at good teams coming off embarrassing losses. Purdue, on the other hand, won at Wisconsin in OT last weekend and then crushed Rutgers here on Tuesday. Off those games, the Boilers could be a bit overvalued now. We feel this is a very good match up for Indiana. The Boilers rely VERY heavily on the 3 point shot with a whopping 41% of their points coming from deep (14th nationally). However IU defends the arc very well allowing opponents to make only 29% of their shots from beyond the arc. In their last 3 games vs solid 3-point shooting teams (Michigan, Maryland, and Nebraska) the Hoosiers held them to a combined 20 of 65 from deep (30%). If Purdue struggles from beyond the arc, they are in trouble. That’s because they don’t score consistently inside the arc (322nd in 2 point scoring percentage) and they don’t get to the line often (311th in FT scoring percentage). Indiana is a decent 3-point shooting game (35%) and Purdue stinks at defending the arc (306th nationally). The Hoosiers are also very good at scoring inside making 58% of their shots from 2-point land (7th nationally). We’re getting value with the number as well here. IU was just a 9 point dog @ Michigan and a 5-point dog @ Maryland. Those numbers tell us this number should be closer to +5, not +7.5. We think IU has a shot to pull the upset here and we’ll take the generous points.
|01-18-19||Maryland v. Ohio State -2||Top||75-61||Loss||-110||20 h 4 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Ohio State -2 over Maryland, Friday at 6:30 PM ET
This is an absolute must win for OSU. They are coming off a 3-game losing streak after starting the Big Ten season 2-0. Now at home with Purdue next and then two road games @ Nebraska & @ Michigan this becomes a huge game. OSU recent 3 game losing streak was tipped off by a loss @ home to Michigan State. The Buckeyes led that game by 9-points in the 2nd half before the Spartans came back and pulled out the win. The Bucks then lost @ Rutgers and it was very apparent in that game that they were emotionally spent from their previous home game vs MSU. Plus, Rutgers actually isn’t that bad this year. They play very hard and play excellent defense. Last Saturday we thought OSU would bounce back and give Iowa all they could handle on the road. They led at half in Iowa City but simply couldn’t hold on due to poor shooting (just 37% for the game) and a pretty large deficit at the FT line (minus 10 made FTs). Now the Buckeyes have had nearly a full week to recoup and get ready for this home game. Maryland, on the other hand, played a big game last Saturday at home vs Indiana and then had to host Wisconsin on Monday, another big game for them. This will be their 3rd game in a week and they are coming off back to back huge wins. They trailed IU by 14 points and came back and won by 3. Against the Badgers they jumped out a 20 point lead in the 2nd half only to have Wisconsin come back and take the lead late in the game. Maryland hit a late 3 to pick up a 4-point win. Off those 2 emotional home wins we expect this young Maryland team (349th nationally out of 351 in experience) will potentially have a tough time in this road tilt. Ohio State has won 24 of their last 28 home games dating back to last year and they are in a desperate spot here. This line is set where OSU pretty much just has to win the game which we think they’ll do. Take the Buckeyes.
|01-17-19||IUPU-Indianapolis v. Green Bay OVER 164.5||Top||76-70||Loss||-109||8 h 36 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Over 164.5 Points - IUPUI @ UW Green Bay, Thursday at 8:00 PM ET
UWGB is one of the fastest paced teams in the nation (8th nationally in tempo) and IUPUI loves to play fast as well (87th in tempo). The Phoenix average 80 possessions per game (5th nationally) and IUPUI averages 74 possessions per game. While that comes out to 154 possessions, those numbers include games vs slower paced teams so we expect more than 154 possessions in this game. If those numbers turn out to be accurate, we’ll need these teams to average just a bit more than 1.00 point per possession which we expect them to easily accomplish. Both have poor defenses with UWGB ranking 295th in adjusted defensive efficiency and IUPUI comes in at 212th in that category. They also both tend to send their opponents to the line a lot which rolls up free points with the clock stopped. In UWGB games, at least one team has reached 90 or more points in 5 straight games. The Phoenix defense has allowed 91 PPG in their 5 Horizon League contests. Even UW Milwaukee, who ranks 253rd nationally in scoring put up 82 points on Green Bay. On a points per possession basis, the GB defense has allowed 1.23, 1.28, 1.14, 1.18, and 1.14 PPP in their Horizon League games. On offense they’ve averaged 88 PPG in those 5 conference games and put up well over 1.00 PPP in each. As we stated above IUPUI’s defense isn’t much better as they’ve allowed 77 PPG in their 5 league games. Offensively they’ve been a bit more up and down, however when the Panthers play fast paced teams with below average defenses they have put points on the board. In this one, IUPUI will absolutely have to score points to keep and and they will against a bad GB defense. These two teams have combined to play 32 games and 22 of those have gone OVER the total. With this spread sitting at GB -3 and a total of 164.5 or 165, the oddsmakers are expecting a final score of 84-81 or somewhere in that vicinity. We expect at least one of these teams to push 90 or break that barrier with the other at least in the 80’s OVER is the wager here.
|01-16-19||Iowa State +5.5 v. Texas Tech||Top||68-64||Win||100||9 h 54 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Iowa State +5.5 over Texas Tech, Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET
Tech is very good but they’ve been skating on thin ice. They are 4-0 in the Big 12 and all of their games have come down to the wire. Their wins in conference play have come by margins of 3, 6, 6, and 7 points. Iowa State is 2-2 in league play and their losses have come by 3 & 1 point so it’s safe to say we can expect a close game here. Getting points will be valuable. ISU should come in and play with some urgency as they have lost 2 straight games after trouncing Kansas by 17 points. Their most recent loss was a 1-point setback to KSU and a game the Cyclones led by 7 with 5:00 minutes remaining. This is a huge game for ISU as they don’t want to drop below .500 in the conference. We realize Tech is a very solid team but they are not 15-1 solid in our opinion. They are primed to be picked off very soon and this could be the night. The Raiders have been outrebounded in every Big 12 game but have held their opponents in league play to just 36% shooting. Even with those defensive numbers, all 4 of the games have been tight. ISU will be the best offense they’ve faced so far in the Big 12 as the Cyclones are 23rd nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. They are tough to guard with 5 players averaging 10 PPG or more. We think the Cyclones will have more success offensively than the other Big 12 teams Tech has faced which will make it tough for the host to cover this one. That’s because on the other end of the court, the Red Raiders are not a great team offensively (95th in offensive efficiency). They have not topped 68 points in any of their conference games. We expect this one to be played in the mid 60’s with Iowa State taking Texas Tech to the wire with a shot to win outright. Take the points.
|01-16-19||Auburn v. Texas A&M +7||Top||85-66||Loss||-115||7 h 56 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Texas A&M +7 over Auburn, Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET
We were on Auburn on Saturday and picked up a win, however we think this is a great spot to fade the Tigers. We caught the Tigers at home on Saturday coming off an embarrassing 15 point loss @ Ole Miss earlier in the week. Their loss to the Rebels was their first SEC game and they definitely didn’t want to lose at home and drop to 0-2 in the league with a road game here on deck. Auburn played well at home as we expected shooting 50% from the field and 48% from deep in their 15 point win on Saturday. They have a HUGE home game this Saturday vs Kentucky so we won’t be surprised at all if the Tigers are not at the top of their game tonight. On top of that, this team struggles on the road. They have played just 2 true road games this year and they are 0-2 in those games losing by 15 & 7 points. They were FAVORED in both. They are shooting just 40% on the road while allowing opponents to hit 49% of their shots. Looking back to late last season, the Tigers have now lost 5 straight road games and they were favored in 4 of those games. They have covered just 2 of their last 9 road tilts. A&M is just 7-7 on the season but they are playing better and have some solid momentum coming into this game after upsetting Alabama on the road last weekend. In their 3 SEC games the Aggies lost by 2 vs Arkansas, lost by 11 @ Kentucky (was a 2 point game with 7:00 remaining), and they beat Bama on the road by 1. They are playing their best basketball and now have 4 of their next 5 games at home. Four of A&M’s seven losses have come by 5 points or less so they have had a chance to win a majority of the games that they lost. The Aggies were +6.5 @ Auburn last year in their only meeting (A&M won outright) and in their only meeting 2 years ago A&M was a 7-point favorite at home. Getting +7 at home tonight (in some spots) is a definite value in our opinion. We like the Aggies to keep this one close and have a shot at the outright win.
|01-16-19||Iowa v. Penn State -1.5||Top||89-82||Loss||-105||7 h 55 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Penn State -1.5 over Iowa, Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET
There is a reason the 0-6 in Big Ten play Nittany Lions are favored (or pickem in some spots) over the now rated #23 Iowa Hawkeyes. Most will look at this game an automatically side with the Hawkeyes over a team that sits with a 7-10 overall record. The fact is the Lions have played a brutal Big Ten slate and they are looking at this game as a prime opportunity to get their first conference win. We expect they’ll play very well in this game. The Nits have not played a “lower tier” type team in the Big Ten yet this season. They have already faced the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Indiana, and Maryland. Those teams are ranked (Ken Pom ratings) #1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 teams in the league. Iowa will actually be the lowest ranked team (Ken Pom) they’ve played in the Big Ten this season. The Hawkeyes come into this game overvalued off 3 straight Big Ten wins – 2 of those at home. We expect after beating Nebraska and Ohio State and home as well as Northwestern on the road, this is very likely a game Iowa may overlook. That would be a mistake as this team as PSU will look at this as a prime opportunity to pick up their first conference win and Iowa is not a good road team. The Hawks did come from 7 points down in the 2nd half to pull the upset at Northwestern but they are just 1-2 in their 3 true road games with both losses coming by double digits. The fact is the Hawkeyes have won only 5 of their last 25 road game dating back to the start of the 2017 season. Last year that this venue they were crushed 82-58 by PSU. The Lions were favored by 8.5 in that game and now this number a swung a full 8+ points from last year due to the perception that PSU is bad due to their winless conference mark. Iowa might be without leading scorer Tyler Cook who sprained his ankle late in the OSU game and didn’t practice on Monday. The Nits solid defense (20th nationally in defensive efficiency) will slow down Iowa’s offense that shoots only 40% in their road games. PSU gets the outright win on Wednesday.
|01-15-19||Marquette v. Georgetown +2||Top||74-71||Loss||-110||4 h 15 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Georgetown +2 over Marquette, Tuesday at 8:30 PM ET - On Fox Sports One
Marquette is currently a play against team on the road in our opinion. Their home/road dichotomy is quite drastic, especially on the defensive end. They have only played 3 true road games this year getting blown out at St Johns and at Indiana and winning in OT @ Creighton. Their road win last Wednesday over the Blue Jays was a complete miracle. First of all the Golden Eagles NEVER led in the game until overtime. Not once. On top of that they were down 85-80 with under 2 seconds remaining in the game and were able to get it to OT by scoring 5 points in the final 2 seconds. Yes you read that correctly. Lastly, they shot lights out in that game hitting 56% of their shots, 57% of their 3-point attempts, AND made 24 FT’s (shot 80% from the foul line) and still NEVER led in regulation. We don’t see those numbers being duplicated tonight @ Georgetown who plays much better defense than Creighton (Blue Jays are dead last in defensive efficiency in the Big East and it’s not close). Speaking of defense, Marquette has been horrendous on that end of the court on the road this year. They have allowed 89, 93, and 104 points in their 3 road games. They are allowing their road opponents to make 55.7% of their shots! The undervalued Hoyas who are scoring 88 PPG at home this year should be able to take advantage of that. Georgetown is 2-2 in the Big East but are very close to being undefeated as their losses came in OT vs St Johns and by 5 points @ Xavier, a game they led 17 points. They are off a home win last Saturday over Providence and now back at home again. The Hoyas also got one of their top players back in the line up, Mac McClung, back on the court last Saturday after he missed 4 straight games. Marquette has played back to back down to the wire games winning both vs Creighton & Seton Hall and now going on the road we see letdown potential from the Eagles. G’Town has a little extra motivation here as well after they lost at home in OT to Marquette last year. Hoyas in this one outright.
|01-14-19||Wisconsin v. Maryland OVER 130.5||Top||60-64||Loss||-116||6 h 1 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Over 130.5 Points - Wisconsin @ Maryland, Monday at 8:30 PM ET - On Fox Sports One
This total opened 137 and we were considering a small play on the OVER at that point. Now that it has dropped all the way to 131 as of this writing, we’ll definitely jump on this one and play the OVER. These are two solid shooting teams who are very efficient offensively. The Badgers shoot 49% on the season while Maryland has hit 48% of their shots. Both rank in the top 27 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. Many think of Wisconsin as a low scoring team but that’s really not the case. They are averaging 75 PPG on the season while the Terps average 77 PPG. Sure they’ve both had a few stinkers offensively but for the most part these two teams have put points on the board. Maryland has put up at least 74 points in 7 straight games. They’ve been held under 70 points in just 3 of their 17 games this season and they are the only team to post 70+ this year vs Virginia who ranks 1st in the nation in scoring defense. The Badgers have played 16 games and been held under 70 points just 5 times. Both defenses have had some very good performances, however when they’ve faced good offenses they have given up points. Wisconsin has played 6 top 50 offenses (adjusted efficiency) and they are allowing 70 PPG on those contests. Maryland has also faced 6 top 50 offenses and they are giving up 71 PPG in those games. Where this line and total sit, the expected outcome is right around 67-64 in favor of Maryland. We think at least one of these two teams and possibly both get to 70 which will be enough to push this game OVER the total.
|01-12-19||Arizona State v. Stanford +4||Top||71-85||Win||100||5 h 54 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Stanford +4 over Arizona State, Saturday at 6:00 PM ET - PAC 12 GAME OF THE WEEK
Stanford has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation to date having already played 9 top 100 teams (31st ranked SOS). Thus, they are better than their 7-8 overall record in our opinion. They have started the Pac 12 season 0-3 with losses @ UCLA, @ USC, and a 5-point home setback vs Arizona on Wednesday. It was a tight game throughout with neither team leading by more than 5 at any point in the 2nd half. Stanford killed themselves at the FT line making only 55% (Arizona made 88%) which was the difference in the down to the wire game. It was Stanford’s only home loss this season (5-1 record). The Cardinal now go on the road for 2 games after this one and cannot afford a loss here which would drop them to 0-4 in the Pac 12. We expect an all out effort on Saturday. ASU is playing their 2nd road game this week after beating the worst team in the league, Cal, on Wednesday. The 80-66 final score was a bit deceiving as the Devils never led in the first half and led by just 8 with 3:00 remaining in the game. Again, not a huge win as Cal is just 5-10 on the year and 9 of their 10 losses have come by at least 9 points. In their 3 road games this year, ASU was whipped @ Vandy by 15 (the 10th rated team in the SEC) , beat Georgia by 2 (12th rated team in the SEC) and beat the worst team in the Pac 12 (Cal). Now they go on the road again for the 2nd time in 4 days and might be without one of their top players, Cheatham (17 points on Wed), who has a family situation today. The Devils are overvalued in this spot in our opinion vs a desperate home team that is better than their record. The home team has dominated this series going 12-4-1 ATS the last 15 meetings. Take the points with Stanford.
|01-12-19||Georgia v. Auburn -13.5||Top||78-93||Win||100||3 h 53 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Auburn -13.5 over Georgia, Saturday at 4:00 PM ET - SEC GAME OF THE MONTH
We’re siding with one of the top teams in the nation off a loss here. Not only a loss but an embarrassing one. The Tigers were whipped 82-67 @ Ole Miss on Wednesday as a 4-point favorite. Auburn attempted 14 more shots in the game but shot uncharacteristically poor at 32%. Ole Miss also picked up some home cooking from the refs making 27 FT’s to just 9 for the Tigers. Really tough to overcome those two situations. Heading home after that bad loss to a place where they are 8-0 winning by an average score of 89-60 should lead to a very nice bounce back. They take on a Georgia team that is off a big win at home over Vandy, but a team that has struggled on the road. The Dawgs are 1-2 in their 3 true road games beating rival Georgia Tech but losing @ Temple and @ Tennessee. They are away from home for just the 3rd time since November 22nd. For comparison’s sake, UGA was completely overmatched @ Tennessee losing 96-50 and today’s opponent Auburn is the #2 ranked team in the SEC just behind Tennessee. The Bulldogs have not beaten anyone ranked inside the top 75 this year going 0-4 vs teams ranked 75 or higher (Ken Pom ratings) and Auburn is currently #13. Not only will the talented Tigers be extra motivated here, it’s simply a bad match up for Georgia. The Tigers thrive at creating extra opportunities through turnovers as they force opponents into giveaways almost 29% of the time (1st nationally). The problem here is UGA is the most turnover prone team in the SEC and one of the most in the nation (314th nationally in turnover percentage). Auburn is also the #1 shot blocking team in the nation at 20.8% which will be a problem for UGA the doesn’t shoot the 3 very well (32%) and relies on scoring inside the paint. The Tigers have scored at least 88 points in 6 of their 8 home games and we don’t feel UGA will be able to keep up here. Last year Auburn won both games by 14 & 17 points and while the Tigers might be a bit better than last year’s 26-8 team, we feel Georgia isn’t as good as they were a year ago. We feel this one could turn into a blowout.
|01-10-19||Pepperdine v. Santa Clara -1.5||Top||64-67||Win||100||8 h 31 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Santa Clara -1.5 over Pepperdine, Thursday at 11:00 PM ET
Veteran head coach Herb Sendek (formerly head coach at NC State & Arizona State) has this Santa Clara team playing very well right now. After losing 5 of their first 6 games the Broncos have hit their stride winning 8 of their last 10 games. They had won 6 in a road including wins over Pac 12 teams Washington State & USC, before finally losing last Saturday @ Gonzaga, who many consider to be the top team in the nation. That loss dropped Santa Clara to 1-1 in the WCC with their win coming here at home 68-56 vs a very good San Diego team. Pepperdine is also 1-1 in the WCC and off a home loss to San Francisco last Saturday. It was a huge home game for the Waves and they have big games on deck vs San Diego and BYU. They may not be ready for this road tilt @ Santa Clara. Part of that might be mental coming off a huge game but much of that is the fact the Waves are simply not a good road team. They are 0-5 SU this year in true road games and only one of those contests came vs a team ranked inside the top 175. They shoot just 40% on the road and they run into a SC defense that allows an eFG% of just 47.5% (70th nationally) a limits their opponents to only 29% (24th nationally). That should be a problem for Pepperdine who relies fairly heavily on the 3-point shot. Santa Clara has won 5 of the last 6 home meetings with Pepperdine and they get the win again tonight.
|01-10-19||SMU v. Connecticut -135||Top||64-76||Win||100||4 h 32 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON UConn -135 on Money Line over SMU, Thursday at 7:00 PM ET
PLAY ON THE MONEY LINE - UConn is on a 3 game losing streak and because of that we feel we are getting some value with the home team. Two of those losses came at the hand of top 35 teams Villanova & UCF. The other loss was @ South Florida vs a team that is red hot right now winning 8 of their last 9. UConn is 0-2 in the AAC and with their next 2 games coming @ Cincy & @ Tulsa so this becomes a must win game. SMU steps into Gampel Pavilion tonight with a 2-0 record in the AAC, however they have faced the two lowest rated teams in the league (Tulane & ECU). That seems to be a theme with the Mustangs as they have a solid record at 10-4, however they have played the 334th ranked strength of schedule. They have faced just 3 teams in the top 100 this year and they have lost 2 of those games. UConn has played the much tougher slate already facing the likes of Villanova, Iowa, Syracuse, Florida State, UCF, and Arizona. The Huskies will win this one with pressure and defense. They rank 92nd in adjusted defensive efficiency (SMU ranks 181st) and they create turnovers at a 23% rate (20th nationally). Since December 1st SMU has played only 2 teams in the top 100 at creating turnovers. ECU ranks 94th in that defensive category and TCU 93rd. Versus those two opponents SMU turned the ball over 21% & 23% of their possessions which is very high. Those two teams don’t compare to the UConn defense that ranks 20th in defensive turnover percentage so we expect the Mustangs to have problems handling the Huskies pressure tonight. We have this year’s UConn team rated 75 spots higher than last year’s team. We rated this year’s SMU team just a touch lower than last year’s squad. Even with that, last year’s UConn team took care of SMU here winning 63-52 as a 6-point dog. With SMU off a road win @ a bad ECU team and with big home games coming next week vs Tulsa & Houston, we feel they might be a big fat and happy at 2-0. UConn will play as if this is the biggest game of their season and pull off the win
|01-09-19||Florida -1.5 v. Arkansas||Top||57-51||Win||100||6 h 44 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Florida -1.5 over Arkansas, Wednesday at 8:30 PM ET - SEC GAME OF THE WEEK
The Razors come into this game with a 10-3 record but have done most of their damage against inferior competition. They are one of the youngest teams in the nation (339th in experience) with 4 freshmen in the rotation. Arkansas has played the 3rd easiest slate thus far in the SEC and they already have two home losses at the hands of Georgia Tech (currently ranked the 12th best team in the ACC) and Western Kentucky who’s ranked outside the top 100 nationally. Florida will actually be the highest rated team the Razorbacks have played this season and the catch the Gators off a loss. You can bet the Gators will be angry coming in after blowing a 14 point lead with 10:00 minutes remaining in a 71-69 home loss to South Carolina last Saturday. It was a game that South Carolina led for less than 3:00 minutes but won on a dunk at the buzzer. It wasn’t a bad loss so to speak and the Gamecocks went on to beat #14 Mississippi State last night for impressive back to back wins. Florida is a slight road favorite here despite the worse record (8-5) because unlike Arkansas, they’ve played a very tough schedule. Their losses have come against Michigan State, Florida State, Butler, South Carolina, and Oklahoma and 4 of those games came down to the wire. Also unlike the young Razorbacks, the Gators return 4 of their top 6 players from last year’s team that won their opening game in the NCAA tourney before losing by 3-points to Texas Tech. This is a revenger for those returning players as they were ousted by Arkansas in the SEC tournament last season. Florida has a great defense (ranked 9th nationally in adjusted efficiency) and they are the better offense efficiency wise as well. Arkansas hangs their hat on creating turnovers but the fact is Florida is better at doing that than the Razors are (24.7% defensive turnover rate for Florida and 21.4% for Arkansas). So the Gators are better offensive, better defensively and better at the one thing Arkansas thrives on. Florida has dominated this series winning 13 of the last 15 meetings and we’ll take Florida to win this one on the road.
|01-09-19||St. Joe's v. St Bonaventure +1||Top||47-73||Win||100||20 h 23 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON St Bonaventure +1 over St Joes, Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET - A10 GAME OF THE WEEK
St Bonnies has just a 4-10 record but much of that is due to their very tough schedule. They have played 8 of their 14 games this year away from home. At home they are 4-2 with one loss to Buffalo (one of the best teams in the nation) and the other coming way back on November 7th in OT vs a solid Bucknell team. Their 4 home wins have come by margins of 15, 29, 31, and 42 points. This is the Bonnies first home game in a full month after a 4 game road trip which took them to Vermont, Northeastern, Syracuse, and George Mason. They lost all 4 of those games with 2 going to the wire. That stretch is giving us some value here now that they are back at home. The Bonnies are back at full strength as well with leading scorer Courtney Stockard back and playing very well after missing the first 6 games of the season. Senior Ladarien Griffin also is back at full strength playing in the last 3 games after missing 10 straight games. Those were 2 key contributors on last year’s team that was 26-8 and won an NCAA tourney game over UCLA. They actually return 4 of their top 7 players from that team and now that they are healthy, this team is vastly underrated due to their record. St Joes is 7-7 on the season but they are just the opposite of St Bonnies as they haven’t left home in over a month. They haven’t played a road game since December 8th and they are just 2-2 their last four games, all played at home. The Hawks are off back to back home losses by 25 vs George Mason and by 15 vs a poor George Washington team. They are not playing well right now and we don’t expect them to find their rhythm in their first road game in a month. St Bonaventure has a big edge defensively here ranking nearly 100 spots ahead of St Joes in both adjusted defensive efficiency and eFG% defense. At home they are even better allowing opponents just 60 PPG on 36% shooting. The Bonnies average 7 more PPG at home while allowing 10 PPG fewer. They’ve won 21 of their last 24 games at home and we’re getting line value here. The last 2 years St Bonnies was favored by 7 & 10 points vs St Joes at home. Now this line sits near a pick-em. While they have struggled early (partly due to schedule & injuries) St Bonaventure is a very solid program who had 3 straight 20 win seasons entering this year. We expect them to go on a run starting on Wednesday. Take St Bonaventure at home.
|01-08-19||Iowa State v. Baylor +2.5||Top||70-73||Win||100||4 h 48 m||Show|
ASA's 10* CBB PLAY ON Baylor +2.5 over Iowa State, Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN
The Cyclones jumped into the top 25 this week after taking care of Kansas at home last Saturday. For those of you that follow CBB closely, you’ll know that Hilton Coliseum in Ames is one of the toughest places to play in the nation. ISU has pulled off a number of big wins in that building over the last 5+ seasons. On Saturday they shot lights out hitting 13 of their 25 three point attempts as the steamrolled the Jayhawks 77-60. It wasn’t an ideal situation for the Jayhawks who found out about an hour before the game that their top big man Azubuike was lost for the season with a hand injury. Tonight is a tough spot for this fairly young Iowa State team that has 2 freshmen and a sophomore in the starting line up. They have played only 2 true road games this season getting smoked 98-84 @ Iowa (who is now 1-3 in the Big Ten) and they snuck by Oklahoma State 69-63 (Cowboys are rated as the worst team in the Big 12). In their 2 road games ISU is shooting just 42% and allowing opponents to hit 48% of their shots. They face a Baylor team coming off a road loss @ TCU 85-81. The Bears are a fantastic defensive team (28th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency) and they switch between zone & man. It’s a defense that can be tough to prepare for if you haven’t seen it which a few of ISU’s key players have not. Baylor is coming off their worst defensive performance of the year allowing TCU (who is now 12-1) to hit 56% of their shots on Saturday. Even with that, Baylor had a shot missing a 3-pointer to tie with just 8 seconds remaining. We expect the Bears to play very well defensively after struggling on Saturday. We also feel that ISU, who finally leaves the comfort of Hilton Coliseum, will not shoot lights out again after doing so vs Kansas on Saturday. The value is with Baylor here. They were favored by 9 each of the last 2 seasons at home vs Iowa State. Now they are getting points. The Bears pull the upset here.
|01-06-19||Memphis v. Houston -9.5||Top||77-90||Win||100||19 h 59 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Houston -9.5 over Memphis, Sunday at 6:00 PM ET
We were on Memphis on Thursday night and picked up a nice win as the topped an over-rated Wichita State team 85-74. On Sunday we’ll switch gears and play against the Tigers on the road. Memphis had not been away from home since December 1st. They are on a nice roll winning 6 of their last 7, however all 7 of those games have been at FedEx Forum in Memphis. They only have one win during that stretch vs a team ranked in the top 120. If you break it down even further, the 9-5 Tigers have a grand total of 2 wins vs teams ranked in the top 100. Those are both at home vs #85 Yale in OT and vs #81 South Dakota State. Overall Memphis is just 2-5 vs the top 100 and 4 of their 5 losses have come by at least 9 points. They have played only ONE true road game this season losing by 9 @ LSU back in November. They are just 1-4 overall in games away from home this year (road or neutral). Now in the comforts of their home arena for over a month, the Tigers must travel to Houston who is a perfect 14-0 on the season. Memphis has rolled up some big offensive numbers during this stretch at home vs poor defenses. Now they face a Houston team that ranks 12th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and 2nd nationally in eFG% defense. The faced a similar defense back in December 1st taking on Texas Tech and scored a season low 67 points. We think Memphis struggles on offense on the road vs a Houston defense that is allowing just 58 PPG on 35% shooting at home. The Cougars are 6-0 this year vs top 100 teams and their home wins have come by an average score of 75-58. Memphis thrives on up tempo play (7th nationally in tempo) and creating turnovers. The problem here is, Houston will slow this game down (306th in tempo) and the veteran Cougars, 4 starters are upperclassmen, they don’t turn the ball over very much (just 17%). The Cougars have been a covering machine going 19-7-2 ATS their last 28 games. We look for Houston to completely take Memphis out of their game and put up a double digit win on Sunday.
|01-05-19||San Diego State v. Boise State -2.5||Top||64-88||Win||100||8 h 21 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Boise State -2.5 over San Diego State, Saturday at 10 PM ET on CBS Sports Network
San Diego State played fairly well at the beginning of the season, but they have really fallen off as of late. On top of that, most of those poor performances have been at home. The Aztecs have not played a road game in a month. They are just 3-3 their last 6 games with their wins coming against Cal State Dominguez Hills (no rating), BYU, and Cal State Northridge (ranked 303). Their win over BYU was solid but that is their only good performance since December 1. Their most recent two games were both at home and included a 21 point loss to Brown and a 5-point win over a terrible CS Northridge team. The Aztecs trailed by 30 points at home vs Brown before losing by 21. On Wednesday SDSU was down by 17 points with just 14 minutes remaining vs CS Northridge before battling back for the unimpressive 5 point win. Traveling to play an improving Boise team will be tough. The Broncos are just 6-8 on the season but they have played the majority of their games (8) away from home. After losing at home to Oregon last Saturday, the Broncos bounced back with a very solid performance and an 11-point win @ Wyoming on Wednesday. They allowed just 55 points in that game and veteran head coach Leon Rice stated after the game he feels his team is really picking it up on the defensive end of the court. “We’re becoming a really good defensive team,” Rice said after the win. The Broncos have allowed their opponents to hit just 40% of their shots over their last 4 games. At home they allow only 39% for the season. This is an experienced Boise team that returns 4 of their top 7 players from last year’s 26-9 team. Because of their struggles early, we feel they are a bit underrated right now. We feel SDSU is just the opposite. Boise has a great home court advantage winning 34 of their last 40 games here at Taco Bell Arena. These teams are headed in opposite directions and we’ll side with Boise laying the small number.
|01-03-19||St. Mary's v. San Francisco -2||Top||72-76||Win||100||5 h 24 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON San Francisco -2 over St Mary's - Thursday at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2
Talk about a team flying under the radar. San Francisco comes in with a 12-2 record including a perfect 8-0 at home. Included in those games are two wins over Pac 12 teams Stanford & California. Their two losses came at the hands for Buffalo by 4 (game played in Ireland) and by 2 points @ UC Santa Barbara last Saturday. Tight losses vs very good teams. UCSB is the top team in the Big West who was 23-9 last year. Buffalo is the top team in the MAC with a 12-1 record this year including wins @ Syracuse & @ West Virginia. The Dons are a veteran team (66th nationally in experience) that is fantastic defensively (18th nationally eFG% defense). They are tough to guard as well with 4 starters averaging more than 10 PPG. The Dons return the majority of their main players (75% of last year’s minutes are back) from a team that was 22-17 and beat a then #15 ranked St Mary’s here 70-63 last season. The Gaels are down this year. They come in with a 9-6 record and lost 5 of their top 7 scorers from last year’s team. The 6 losses already this season matched their season total a year ago (30-6 record last season). They are just 2-4 this year in road/neutral games. St Mary’s is coming off a blowout win on Saturday vs a terrible San Jose State team. San Fran, as we mentioned, is coming off a rare loss which sets this one up nicely. The Dons are 8-0 this year at home and have won 17 of last 18 here at Sobrato Center. They beat a MUCH better St Mary’s team here last year so we have no doubt they can win this one as well. This number is too small in our opinion and we like San Francisco at home.
|01-02-19||Texas v. Kansas State UNDER 130||Top||67-47||Win||100||5 h 9 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Under 130 Points - Texas @ Kansas State, Wed at 9:00 PM ET on ESPNU
We had our eye on the UNDER in this one before the spreads were released hoping it would be higher than what we thought it should be. The total opened 123.5 and our numbers said 126 so while we did like it, the value wasn’t quite there. Now the total has risen all the way to 130 and it’s time for us to jump on the UNDER. These are two great defensive teams with KSU ranking 2nd nationally in adjusted efficiency defense and Texas ranks 10th in the same category. The Wildcat defense has not allowed an opponent to reach 60 points in 5 straight games dating back to December 1st. Nine of their 12 opponents have been held to 59 points or less. Texas has allowed just 3 of their 12 opponents to top 70 points (in regulation) so we fully expect this game to be played in the 60’s or lower. The offenses will have a lot to do with that as well as neither is very good. Both rank below 100th in adjusted efficiency offense and both rank below 220th in eFG%. Neither team shoots the 3 well with KSU hitting 31% (270th nationally) and Texas making just 32% (250th nationally). Neither team gets to the line very often and when they do they struggle with the Cats making just 63% and the Horns hitting 66%. These two Big 12 rivals have combined to play 24 games so far this year with only 7 going OVER the total. KSU is now 23-9-1 to the UNDER their last 33 games. Not only that, this has been a very low scoring series with 10 of the last 11 meetings going UNDER the total. The average total score the last 10 meetings in this series is just 124 and only ONE of the last 10 games has topped 133 points. As we said, now that this total is in the 130 point range (some 129.5’s and some 130.5’s) we like the value with the UNDER.
|01-02-19||Georgetown v. Butler -9||Top||84-76||Loss||-105||3 h 8 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Butler -9 over Georgetown, Wed at 7:00 PM ET
We expect a huge bounce back from the Bulldogs as they come off their worst loss since 1994. Butler traveled to Florida on Saturday, a team they had already beaten this year, and the Gators went off winning 77-43. It was the perfect storm with the motivated Gators shooting lights out at home (53%) and the normally solid shooting Bulldogs hitting just 30%. After outrebounding Florida in their other meeting this year, Butler was destroyed to the tune of 43-14 on the boards. No effort whatsoever from the Bulldogs which is not the norm for this team. Their coach Lavell Jordan and every player on this team was embarrassed following that effort on Saturday. While they are just 2-4 in games away from home (away/neutral) the Bulldogs are a perfect 7-0 at home at Hinkle Fieldhouse where they face Georgetown tonight. Hinkle provides one of the best home court advantages in college basketball and Butler has won 60 of their last 72 games here. They catch a G’Town team that has a solid 10-3 record but has played one of the easiest schedules in the nation this year ranking 313th in SOS. The Hoyas have played only 3 top 100 teams this year and they are 1-2 in those games with their lone win coming over #77 Liberty. They have also not been away from home in almost a month with their last road game coming on December 8th. On top of that the Hoyas look like they will not be at 100% for this one with leading scorer Mac McClung and starting forward Trey Mourning may both be out here. McClung, a freshman averaging 13 PPG, was out last game due to an injured ankle or at least that was the story they went with. He was not in the building for the game and there are rumors floating around that he may look to transfer. Either way, not a great situation. Mourning is still in concussion protocol. Butler shoots it very well at home (51% overall & 40% from deep) with an average margin of victory at 17 points. Facing a team that hasn’t been on the road in nearly a month & off their worst loss in 25 years, this one sets up for a potential Butler rout and we expect at least a double digit win.
|01-01-19||Marquette v. St. John's -1.5||Top||69-89||Win||100||7 h 28 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON St Johns -1.5 over Marquette, Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET
Love this spot for St Johns. We went against the Red Storm on Saturday and came up one point short as they lost @ Seton Hall 76-74 as a 3-point dog. We have to admit the Johnnies played much better than we thought they would. They were 12-0 coming into the game but hadn’t played a great schedule and nearly all of their games had been at home. They were taking on a Seton Hall team that had already beaten the likes of Kentucky & Maryland (on the road). St Johns proves us wrong as they led on the road for nearly the entire game including holding a 10 point lead with just 6:00 remaining in the game. In fact the Pirates largest lead of the game was just 2 points. The way the game ended should have St Johns motivated here as they lost on a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Red Storm is now back at home where they have an average margin of victory of 18 PPG shooting nearly 50% from the field while allowing just 39%. Marquette has moved up the rankings all the way to #16 on the back of a 8 game winning streak. They have been doing their damage at home as this team has not left Milwaukee since November 23rd! They are just 1-2 in their 3 games away from home (away & neutral) and in their only true road game @ Indiana they Golden Eagles were rolled 96-73. They rely very heavily on the 3-point shot (35% of their points) which can be tough to maintain on the road, especially when you’ve played at home for over a month straight. Last year the Johnnies were favored by a similar number (-2) and won 86-78. They home team has won 6 of the last 7 meetings and there is a reason the unranked team (St Johns) is favored over the #16 team in the country. Lay the small number.
|12-29-18||Oregon v. Boise State +2||Top||62-50||Loss||-108||24 h 9 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Boise State +2 over Oregon, Saturday at 7:30 PM ET on CBS Sports Network
We felt the Ducks came into this season overvalued ranking in the top 20 in most pre-season polls and undeserved in our opinion. They were a solid 23-13 a year ago but lost a number of key players and they are relying on young players this year. More so in this game as they have lost a few key contributors as of late. Starting forward Kenny Wooten was injured in their most recent game – a 10 point loss @ Baylor – and he is out. Freshman and leading scorer Bol Bol has missed 3 games and they are not sure if he can come back from a foot problem here. Even if he does, he won’t be 100%. Starter Abu Kigab is also out with an injury for this game. The Ducks will be relying here on a number of players who’ve seen very little action this year as their bench is ultra-thin due to the injuries. As we discuss our thoughts on Boise, you’ll see they are the direct opposite of Oregon. We feel the Broncos are undervalued due to their 5-7 record. This team is talented. They return 4 of their top 7 players from last year’s team that was 23-9. They also added one of the top JC transfers in the nation in RJ Williams who leads the Broncos in scoring at 15 PPG. They’ve had a tough start with 7 of their 12 games coming away from home. Four of their seven losses have come by 3 points or less and they’ve played some tough teams on the road including this Oregon team. Yes this is a rematch from a game played on December 15th. That game was in Eugene and the Ducks won 66-54 – a game that BSU shot just 35% while Oregon hit 49% of their shots. The Ducks also got some home cookin’ and made 9 more FT’s. Despite that, the game was close throughout with OU leading by single digits most of the 2nd half. The Ducks have played 2 true road games this year and lost them both. On the other side, Boise has a fantastic home court advantage at the Taco Bell Arena where they are 34-5 SU their last 39! Very rarely do we get Boise as a home dog and we love this spot. The Broncos win outright at home.
|12-22-18||Vanderbilt +3.5 v. Kansas State||58-69||Loss||-109||6 h 25 m||Show|
ASA 8* CBB PLAY ON Vanderbilt +3.5 over Kansas State, Saturday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2
This game is being played in Kansas City so while it is much closer to KSU it’s not on their home court. The Wildcats will be playing their 2nd game with starting center who is major contributor averaging 14 PPG and 8 RPG. In their first game without Wade earlier this week, the Cats really struggled with an average at best Southern Miss team. KSU was down 16 points at home in the 2nd half and rallied for a 55-51 win. They got a little bit lucky in that game as well as Southern Miss shot just 31% from the field and still almost won the game. Kansas State’s offense has struggled all season long and we expect them to really have problems with Wade out as he is their main inside threat. If they are forced to be a more perimeter oriented team, that’s not a good sign as they simply don’t shoot the ball very well from outside (just 30% from deep which is 290th nationally). They also leave a lot of points at the line shooting just 65% as a team (11 for 20 vs USM). The problem for KSU here is Vandy is a very good offensive team that can shoot the ball with accuracy. They are effective inside the arc (55%) and outside the arc (36%). The Commodores average 83 PPG and have topped 75 points in all but one game this season. That’s a huge problem for a KSU team that will need to put points on the board to win this game and they struggle to do that (68 PPG average). Vandy is a solid defensive team as well allowing teams an eFG% of just 45% (32nd nationally). The Dores come in with a 3-1 record vs top 100 teams with their only loss in that range coming vs NC State who has proven to be a very good team taking Wisconsin to the wire on the road and beating a top 10 Auburn team this week. We’ll take the much better shooting team here as KSU is simply a struggling team early in the season.
|12-22-18||Ohio State -6 v. UCLA||Top||80-66||Win||100||2 h 26 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Ohio State -6 over UCLA, Saturday at 3:00 PM ET on CBS
UCLA comes in with just a 7-4 record and vs top 100 teams they are just 1-4 (Ohio State ranked 25 in Ken Pom). That’s understandable as this is a very young team that is finding their way right now and should be better as the year progresses. The Bruins start 2 freshmen and 2 more are key contributors off the bench. They are 0-3 in road/neutral games and are coming off getting waxed @ Cincinnati on Thursday. (lost by 29 points). The Buckeyes beat that same Cincinnati team on the road by 8 this season. Now 2 days later the Bruins are still on the road in Chicago to play a very solid Ohio State team. Not ideal for a young team over the Xmas break. OSU has a big advantage today playing in the United Center as they’ve already faced Illinois at this venue a few weeks ago. Ohio State won that game by 10 points. The Buckeyes are a fantastic defensive team ranking 22nd nationally in defensive efficiency and 10th in eFG% defense. Add that to the fact that the United Center is a very tough venue for shooting, especially when you haven’t played here, and we expect UCLA to struggle offensively. On top of that, UCLA doesn’t get to the line a ton (17% of their points) and when they do they only make 61% which is one of the worst FT percentages in the nation. Compare that to Ohio State that does get to the line a lot with 24% of their points coming from the strip (23rd nationally) and when they do get there they make 74%. Ohio State made 47% of their shots and 23 FT’s here two weeks ago. If they can come anywhere close to those type of offensive numbers, we think this is an easy win for the Buckeyes.
|12-20-18||Ohio v. Purdue -16.5||Top||67-95||Win||100||6 h 28 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Purdue (-16.5) over Ohio, Thursday at 7:00 PM ET
The Boilers need a big win in the worst way and we think they get it tonight. They come into this game with just a 6-5 record but they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the nation (4th rated strength of schedule). Purdue has already played 8 top 100 teams on the year and their losses have come at the hands of Michigan (4th in Ken Pom ratings), Virginia Tech (10), Florida State (16), Texas (30), and Notre Dame (54). All of those losses, with the exception of their game @ Michigan, were close and games that were undecided in the final minutes (losses by 1, 4, 6, and 8 points). This team could easily have a much better record. In their games vs opponents ranked outside the top 55, the Boilers are undefeated with their wins coming by 9, 21, 22, 33, and 38 points. Their other win came by 2 points vs Maryland who is currently rated 26th in the Ken Pom ratings. Thursday they face an Ohio team that is rated 156th and has played a grand total of ONE team ranked in the top 100. That was a game vs 71st ranked Xavier and the Musketeers rolled them by 21 points. The Bobcats also lost to Loyola Marymount (108th) by 9 and South Florida (191st) by 27. They are playing their 2nd straight road game after squeaking by a 3-8 Detroit team 63-61 as 7-point favorites. The Boilers have struggled defensively this year vs a slew of good offensive teams, however they should get healthy on that end of the court in this game. Ohio is not a good shooting team and they are terrible from beyond the arc making just 29% (311th nationally). Purdue head coach Matt Painter has really stressed they must start improving on defense so an all out effort is expected here. Offensively Purdue should put up big numbers as they are averaging 80 PPG at home (4-0 record). This is a get well game for Boilermakers at home and we smell a rout.
|12-18-18||USC -8 v. Santa Clara||Top||92-102||Loss||-107||8 h 36 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON USC -8 over Santa Clara, Tuesday at 10 PM ET
Not much is being said about this talented USC team and that is in part because of their 5-5 record. However, they have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation losing to the likes of Texas Tech, Vandy, Oklahoma, Nevada, and TCU. Those 5 teams have a combined 45-4 record so nothing to be ashamed of for the Trojans. When they’ve played lower tier competition, similar to Santa Clara, they Trojans have dominated. Their 5 wins have all come by double digits. USC comes into this game having played 3 straight games against top 30 teams and lost all 3 so they are hungry for a win here. USC takes a huge step down in competition tonight facing a Santa Clara team that is 5-6 despite playing the 8th easiest schedule in the nation thus far. All of the Broncos 5 wins have come against teams currently rated 313th or lower and considering there are only 351 teams, you can imagine how poor some of those teams are. They did dominate two of those games vs Miss Valley State (ranked 350th) and Sonoma State (not ranked) but their other 3 wins vs that poor competition came by 7, 8, and 11 points. Not overly impressive. All but one of their 6 losses have come by double digits and their lone close loss was a 68-66 setback at home to Idaho State (ranked 250th). Santa Clara is one of the youngest teams in the nation with 4 underclassmen starting, including 2 freshmen. Not only that, 3 of their key reserves are also freshmen. USC, on the other hand, starts 4 upperclassmen and 6 of their top 8 players were key members of last year’s 24-12 team. The Trojans rolled over Santa Clara last year by a final score of 82-59 and they were in a similar spot losing 3 in a row entering that game all vs very good competition. USC led that one throughout and they bring back players that scored 51 points in that game while Santa Clara returns only 1 player that played significant minutes in that game. USC is the much better team here and they are backed into a corner in a must win spot. They should roll in this one.
|12-17-18||Arizona State v. Vanderbilt +1||Top||65-81||Win||100||21 h 35 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Vanderbilt +1 over Arizona State, Monday at 7:00 PM ET
This is a very tough scheduling situation for a very young ASU team. The Devils played their first true road game on Saturday @ Georgia and now are again on the road @ Vandy just 48 hours later. ASU expended a lot of physical and emotional energy on Saturday coming from 18 points down to beat Georgia 76-74. The Sun Devils took their first lead of the game with under 3:00 minutes remaining. They only had 7 players log double digit minutes and the starters all played at least 26 minutes with 3 of them playing 33+ minutes. It’s going to be tough for this team, with 4 underclassmen in the starting line up, to come back at a peak level after that effort. Not only that, Arizona State has a HUGE home game on Saturday as they play host to Kansas. Coming off a big win and with that game on deck this young team might be glancing ahead. They are playing a very good Vanderbilt team tonight who’s rested having not played since December 5th. While we’re not a huge fan of 10+ days off continuity wise, we feel it will be a big advantage here for the Commodores facing a team on short rest. Vandy has shot very well at home this year hitting 51% of their shots while allowing opponents to make only 39%. They did lost their freshman point guard Darius Garland in late November, they’ve had nearly a full month and 3 games to adjust and they’ve done just that with their most recent game a 28 point win over Middle Tennessee State. These two met last year @ ASU and the Devils rolled to a 76-64 win so Vandy has had that to think about on their 10 days off leading up to this rematch. ASU has only one starter back from that game as this team has quite a different look from last season. We think Vanderbilt will surprise people and we have them tabbed as one of the top teams in the SEC. The situation heavily favors the Commodores and only have to win at home, they are the play.
|12-15-18||Baylor v. Arizona -6.5||Top||58-49||Loss||-109||24 h 58 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Arizona -6.5 over Baylor, Saturday at 11:00 PM ET on ESPN2
We’ve been looking for a good spot to fade this Baylor team and this is it. The Bears are nowhere near the team they have been the past few seasons. They lost a number of key players off last year’s pretty average 19-15 team and they are step down from that squad this season. The Bears are just 5-3 despite playing the 325th rated strength of schedule. They have played one true road game (lost @ Wichita State) and haven’t played a game period since December 1st. That’s 2 full weeks without any game action which is an absolute negative for Baylor in our opinion. They have faced only one top 100 team this year (lost to Ole Miss on a neutral court) and many of their wins vs poor competition are not impressive. The Bears lost at home to Texas Southern (ranked 224th in Ken Pom ratings), beat South Dakota (ranked 174th) by 6, beat George Mason (ranked 162nd) by 11, and beat Prairie View A&M (ranked 274th) by just 11. Not an overly impressive resume for Baylor. Arizona will be the best team they’ve played this season. The Cats have had 6 days off (better than 14) since losing a tight game @ Alabama on Sunday (lost 76-73). Unlike Baylor, the Wildcats have played one of the tougher schedules so far this season (ranked 56th SOS). They are just 7-3, however their losses (besides Bama) have come at the hands of Gonzaga (ranked 6th in Ken Pom) and Auburn (ranked 9th). They have also beaten two top 100 teams (UConn on the road & Iowa State on neutral court). Arizona is 5-0 SU at home this year and rarely lose here at the McKale Center where they are 40-2 SU their last 42 games. They have shot very well at home this year (49%) and they are lights out from the FT line hitting almost 77% as a team (27th nationally). They should get plenty of free opportunities here as Baylor fouls and average of 21 times per game which is 295th nationally. The Bears are a poor shooting team from deep hitting only 30% from beyond the arc and they make only 67% of their FT’s. This should be a game Zona controls from start to finish and wins by double digits.
|12-15-18||College of Charleston v. VCU UNDER 128.5||Top||83-79||Loss||-109||17 h 57 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Under 128.5 points - College of Charleston @ VCU, Saturday at 4:00 PM ET
We used the UNDER when VCU traveled to Texas recently and cashed easily on that game. We expect to do just that again here. The Rams are a fabulous defensive team ranking 8th nationally in defensive efficiency and 2nd nationally in defensive eFG%. They have held 6 of their 10 opponents under 60 points and two others reached just 61 points. As good as they are defensively, VCU is a poor offensive team. They are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation (28%) and their eFG% ranks 315th nationally. They win with defense and that’s how they play. Much of their offense comes off turnovers, however Charleston won’t let that happen as they turn the ball over just 14% of the time ranking them 9th nationally. As bad as VCU is from deep, C of C is worse making only 27% of their 3’s ranking them 323rd nationally. We won’t get much scoring from deep here to say the least. As we stated in our write up on the VCU-Texas Under, many feel the Rams are a fast paced team because they press but that is not the case. The rank 190th in adjusted tempo. Charleston loves to play slow as they are 330th in adjusted tempo (out of 351 teams). A slow paced game, with two below average offenses, and solid defenses leads to a low scoring affair. UNDER is the play.
|12-14-18||Green Bay v. Creighton OVER 168.5||Top||65-86||Loss||-109||11 h 2 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Over 168.5 Points - UW Green Bay @ Creighton, Friday at 9:00 PM ET
These are two of the faster paced teams in the country and neither play defense at a high level. There won’t be much in the way of half court offense in this game. UWGB ranks 9th nationally in adjusted tempo while Creighton ranks 85th. Remember those numbers are based on the tempo they’ve played vs their opponents and many of their opponents like to play slow. Creighton has already played 7 opponents who rank below 200 in adjusted tempo so those teams are trying to slow the game down when the play the Blue Jays. UWGB has played 3 opponents ranked 175 or lower in adjusted tempo. The point being, the numbers, as fast as they are, tend to be skewed as they do play slower paced teams. With both wanting up tempo tonight, this game should have a ton of possessions. Defensively these teams are not very good. Creighton ranks 283rd nationally in eFG% defense while UWGB ranks 223rd in the same category. Offensively, the Jays rank #1 nationally in eFG% and the Phoenix aren’t bad in that area hitting over 51%. Creighton just played Nebraska over the weekend, a team that is great defensively and is slow paced and they totaled 169 points. The Blue Jays have scored at least 87 points in 5 of their last 6 games. UWGB has scored at least 82 points in 7 of their 10 games. The Phoenix have played 2 teams this year ranked in the top 100 in adjusted tempo and those games totaled 192 and 175 points. Creighton has played only one team ranked in the top 100 in adjusted tempo and that game totaled 195. This one should be a shootout and we’re on the OVER.
|12-11-18||Georgia Southern v. UCF -9.5||Top||88-95||Loss||-109||5 h 54 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Central Florida -9.5 over Georgia Southern, Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET
This is a bad match up for Georgia Southern. The Eagles are a bad 3-point shooting team (26% ranks them 334th nationally) that needs to be able to score inside the arc to have a chance. That will be a struggle tonight as UCF defends inside the arc as well as anyone in the country allowing just 40% which is 5th best nationally. Part of that is due to their length and shot blocking ability. The Knights are one of the tallest teams in the nation with 7’6 Tacko Fall manning the middle. Their block shot rate is almost 15% which ranks them in the top 25 nationally. They’ll be facing a GSU team that doesn’t have anyone in their rotation taller than 6’8. UCF has a HUGE edge defensively in this game ranking 13th nationally in defensive efficiency and 12th in the country in eFG% defense. Georgia Southern ranks 163rd and 223rd respectively in those 2 categories. The Knights are playing their 2nd straight home game while GSU is on the road for the 2nd time in 4 days after they upset Mercer on the road on Saturday making nearly 40% of their 3’s which as we stated above was an outlier. The Eagles have played only one team ranked in the top 100 this year and that was @ Arizona where they lost 100-70. For comparison’s sake, UCF is actually rated as a stronger team right now than Arizona ranking 44th nationally while the Wildcats sit at 48th. GSU wants to play fast and they’ll have trouble doing that here as UCF is one of the slowest paced teams in the nation. Look for UCF to slow this one down and frustrated an Eagle team that thrives one getting easy baskets. They won’t be able to do that tonight and we see Central Florida pulling away in the 2nd half for an easy win. The Knights have been a big time money maker at home going 37-16 ATS their last 53 games here. Add another spread win to the ledger tonight. Take UCF.
|12-08-18||Creighton v. Nebraska -7.5||Top||75-94||Win||100||6 h 33 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Nebraska -7.5 over Creighton, Saturday at 6:00 PM ET
The Huskers have the best team they’ve had in a long time and if they are ever going to knock off their little brother, today is the day. The Huskers have lost 7 straight years vs the Blue Jays and this is perhaps their most anticipated home game of the season. They’ve been waiting for this one and we expect the Huskers to be at the top of their game as they attempt to win their 17th straight home game dating back to last year. Nebraska should have even more incentive as they are coming off a loss @ Minnesota earlier this week. It was a game they led by 10 with just over 8:00 minutes remaining only to see the Gophers outscore them 27-10 down the stretch. The Nebraska defense was poor in that game allowing Minny to hit 52% of their shots. However, that is a rarity with this team as they have been outstanding defensively this year ranking 4th nationally in eFG% defense (11th nationally defending the 3 & 9th nationally defending inside the arc). After that poor effort, we can expect a high level performance defensively on Saturday. This is Creighton’s first true road game of the season and we like fading teams on the road that rely heavily on the 3-point shot. The Blue Jays are the definition of that as over 40% of their points come from deep (16th nationally). Hot shooting often doesn’t travel well and this Blue Jay team cannot rely on their defense to keep them in the game if they aren’t on from deep. They rank just 250th nationally in eFG% defense and they will struggle slowing down a very talented Nebraska offense in this game. In their meeting last year, the Huskers led at half @ Creighton and the Blue Jays only led by 3 with under 1:00 minute remaining in what turned out to be a 75-65 win. Nebraska returns 52 of their 65 points scored in that game while this young Creighton team (301st nationally in experience) returns just 23 of their 75 points. The Huskers continue to be undervalued in our opinion with a 6-2 ATS record this year and a 24-6-1 spread mark dating back to last year. They are 21-1 here since the start of last season with their only loss coming by 1-point last season vs Kansas. This is the game they really want and we have a feeling that Nebraska will roll in this one.
|12-08-18||Wisconsin v. Marquette OVER 137||Top||69-74||Win||100||5 h 31 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Over 137 Points - Wisconsin @ Marquette, Saturday at 5:00 PM ET
Being in Wisconsin we follow these two teams very closely and feel we are getting some value on the OVER here. Marquette just played Kansas State a week ago and that total was set the same as this one. Based on the numbers, it shouldn’t be the same, this one should be higher. That’s because Wisconsin and KSU are very similar defensively (13th and 5th in defensive efficiency respectively) but the Badgers are far better than the Cats in almost every category. KSU & Marquette scored 154 total points in that game and we expect these two to reach into the 140’s at minimum. Last year’s total in this game was set at 141 and Wisconsin was nowhere near as good offensively and the two totaled 145 points. While Wisconsin still plays slow, they push a bit more than past years and their offensive production is being overlooked here. They rank 17th nationally in offensive efficiency and they are the 12th best 3-point shooting team in the nation. And that’s facing a tough schedule having already played 7 top 100 teams (16th most difficult strength of schedule thus far). Marquette’s defense looks improved but they have allowed 70+ points vs every top 100 team they’ve played this year (4). The offense is good just as it was last year with solid shooters all over the court. The only 2 teams to hold Marquette to less than 70 points were Kansas (4th in defensive efficiency) who held them to 68 and UMBC in the first game of the year which was a blowout so Marquette called off the dogs (Won 67-42). We have 2 very good shooting teams in this game and while the defenses will have their moments, we expect both to push into the 70’s in this game so the OVER is the play.
|12-08-18||Houston v. Oklahoma State -2.5||Top||63-53||Loss||-105||4 h 32 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Oklahoma State -2.5 over Houston, Saturday at 4:00 PM ET
Houston comes into this game with an undefeated record, however they have played the 2nd easiest schedule in the nation thus far. The Cougars have played 6 home games and just 1 road game this season and they have faced only one team ranked inside the top 70. Five of their seven opponents are currently ranked 240th or lower. This is a tough spot for Houston as after this game they return home to face LSU next week which is a huge revenge game for them. They lost by 3 points @ LSU and missed two 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds in an attempt to send the game to OT. Okie State, on the other hand, has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation thus far. They are just 4-4 but have played only 2 home games this year. The Cowboys are coming off back to back losses @ Minnesota & @ Tulsa and really need a win here, their first home game since November 18th. Despite playing all but 2 of their games away from home, OSU has shot the ball very well ranking 26th nationally in eFG% (56%) and 10th nationally in 3-point FG% (43%). Houston relies heavily on the 3 point shot (39% of their points – 35th nationally) which can be tough to lean on when playing away from home. We think Houston comes in a bit flat while OSU is backed into a corner at home. With this line sitting at OSU -1, simply pick the winner here and we feel that will be the Cowboys.
|12-06-18||Maryland v. Purdue -6.5||Top||60-62||Loss||-110||21 h 29 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Purdue -6.5 over Maryland, Thursday at 7:00 PM ET
Purdue will be extra hungry for a win after losing 2 straight and 3 of their last 4. The Boilers 3 losses this year have come against top tier opponents all ranked in the top 17 according to Ken Pom. They lost by 6 to Va Tech (ranked 10) on a neutral court, lost by 1 @ Florida State (ranked 17), and were just beaten bad @ Michigan (ranked 5). Now back home after getting walloped by the Wolverines we expect an all out effort from the Boilers. They are 3-0 at home this year and Purdue has won 26 of their last 27 games at Mackey Arena. Not only do the Boilers win at home, most of the time they win handily with 17 of their last 26 home wins coming by double digits. Tonight they take on a very young Maryland team that ranks 350th in experience out of 351 teams. Of the Terps top 9 players in terms of minutes played, 5 are freshmen. They have played just one road game the entire season and that was way back on November 9th. Not only that, their opponent in that game was Navy so the game was @ Navy which is just 30 miles away from the Maryland campus. The young Terps won that game but let’s keep in mind Navy is currently ranked 321st (out of 351) and has just two wins this year vs Coppin State & Bryant. We think this Maryland team has some promise this year, however this is a terrible spot for a team that has played 6 straight home games. Most of their key contributors have never experience a venue like Mackey Arena and the Boilers are backed into a corner. Purdue was favored by 14 here last year in this match up and now they are laying half that number vs a Maryland team that overturned much of their roster. Lay it with Purdue.
|12-05-18||VCU v. Texas UNDER 137||Top||54-53||Win||100||5 h 34 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Under 137 Points - VCU @ Texas, Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET
VCU likes to pressure full court but they are not an overly fast paced team as most tend to think. They rank 143rd nationally in adjusted tempo and Texas ranks 152nd in the same category. So both are near the middle of the pack in college basketball when it comes to tempo. Where both are near the best in college basketball is on the defensive end of the court. The Horns rank 12th nationally in defensive efficiency and VCU ranks 19th. The Rams also rank 3rd nationally in eFG% defense and also 3rd nationally at defending the 3-point line. We expect both teams to struggle from deep in this one as neither shoots the 3 well (30% for Texas & 29% for VCU). Not only do these teams struggle to score from deep, neither are very good shooting teams in general with both sitting at 47% for their eFG% which ranks them around 250th nationally. Both have problems at the FT line as well with each hitting only 65% of their freebies. Only one team this season has topped 61 points vs VCU in regulation and that was St Johns who’s one of the fastest paced teams in the nation and 26th nationally in offensive efficiency. Only two teams have topped 70 points this year on Texas and those were Michigan State & North Carolina who are ranked 4th & 6th nationally in offensive efficiency which is far superior offensively to VCU (ranked 239th in offensive efficiency). Both defense are far ahead of the offenses in this one and while this total opened 133, it has jumped to 137 which gives us some value on the UNDER.
|12-04-18||Notre Dame v. Oklahoma -3||Top||80-85||Win||100||20 h 10 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Oklahoma -3 over Notre Dame, Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET
The Irish come into this game with a 6-1 record but they have played one of the easiest schedules in the nation thus far. Their strength of schedule ranks 320th nationally and they have yet to leave their home arena. The Sooners, on the other hand, will be more than ready for this setting as they have already played 2 true road games AND 3 neutral site games this season. They have also played the MUCH tougher schedule ranking 36th in SOS. Okie is 6-1 as well, but they have already played 4 top 100 teams and their lone loss was to #13 Wisconsin on a neutral site. The Sooners have been very good defensively ranking 28th nationally in defensive efficiency and 26th in eFG% defense. They are fantastic defending inside the arc allowing opponents to shoot just 37.7% (3rd nationally) and they do not send teams to the line as just 20% of their opponents points have come from the charity stripe (3rd best in the nation). That’s going to be a huge problem for a Notre Dame team that has relied heavily on getting to the line with 24% of their points coming from the stripe (39th nationally). No home cooking here for the Irish along with a team that doesn’t foul and defends outstanding inside the arc means they’ll have to hit their 3’s to have a shot. The problem is, they are making just 31% of their shots from beyond the arc this year (238th nationally) and those shaky numbers have all come at home. Now they must try and find the range in a tough shooting venue, Madison Square Garden. Oklahoma is a veteran team with 4 upperclassmen in the starting lineup and they are well prepared for this spot. We think the Irish, with 3 new starters, will take some time to gel this year and we don’t expect that to happen in their first game away from home this season. Lay the small number with Oklahoma.
|12-03-18||Rutgers +13 v. Wisconsin||Top||64-69||Win||100||23 h 7 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Rutgers +13 over Wisconsin, Monday at 8:00 PM ET
This is a tough spot for Wisconsin. They are coming off a huge road win on Friday night @ Iowa and we have a feeling it will be tough for them to play at a peak level physically and emotionally in this game. Rutgers is off a home loss to Michigan State on Friday night (we were on MSU) but we have to say we’ve been impressed with the Scarlet Knights early in the season. That was a rough spot for them as they had just beaten a solid Miami FL on the road a few days earlier and were catching the Spartans off a tight loss @ Louisville. We thought MSU would respond well and they did but Rutgers hung in until the end losing by 11 as an 8-point dog. These are two very slow paced teams and the total is set in the 125 range so a low scoring game is expected. With a lower number of possessions, that will make it very tough for Wisconsin to win this one going away. On top of that, Rutgers plays outstanding defense so nothing will be easy here for the Badgers. The Knights are allowing just 59 PPG on only 38% shooting by their opponents. They rank 19th nationally in defensive efficiency. This team is also very solid on the boards and were outrebounded for the first time this year on Friday night vs Michigan State (only by 5). Third year head coach Steve Pikiell has this team headed in the right direction. They’ve played Wisconsin very tough the last few years winning at home by 4 last year and losing in OT here at the Kohl Center 2 seasons ago. The Badgers have a huge game on deck with state rival Marquette so this is a true sandwich type game for Wisconsin. UW is very solid this year and they’ll win this game, we just don’t see them pulling way for a decisive victory. Rutgers plus the points here.
|11-30-18||Michigan State -8 v. Rutgers||Top||78-67||Win||100||24 h 54 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Michigan State -8 over Rutgers, Friday at 6:00 PM ET
After back to back impressive wins over UCLA by 20 and Texas by 10, the Spartans were upended in OT on Tuesday night @ Louisville. MSU (-4.5) led with under 2:00 minutes remaining in the game but blew it and lost in OT. Sparty dominated most of the key stats hitting 47% of their shots to just 39% for Louisville along with destroying the Cards on the boards 45 to 28. So how did they lose? The officials had a big say in that as they sent Louisville to the charity stripe 40 times and they outscored MSU by 16 points at the line. Expect the Spartans to bounce back and play very well here after that loss. They catch Rutgers coming off an upset road win @ Miami 57-54 on Wednesday. That means the Scarlet Knights only have 48 hours before they tip off in this one while MSU has a full extra day. It was a big win for the Knights but overall their schedule has been ultra light facing just 2 teams ranked inside the top 160 this year. One was a win over Miami, the other a 20 point home loss to St Johns. MSU, on the other hand, has already faced the likes of Kansas, UCLA, Louisville, and Texas this season. Rutgers offense is stagnant at best ranking 270th in offensive efficiency and they’ve been held to 65 points or less in 4 straight games. Facing an MSU defense that allows 37% from the field and ranks 18th in defensive efficiency we expect another poor performance from Rutgers offensively. Sparty, on the other hand, has scored at least 78 points in every game this season. Rutgers is going to have a tough time keeping up in this game. The Spartans are 6-0 in this series with 5 of those 6 wins coming by double digits. MSU off a loss is a solid play here.
|11-27-18||NC State v. Wisconsin -8||Top||75-79||Loss||-110||26 h 28 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON Wisconsin -8 over NC State, Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2
NC State comes into Madison with a perfect 6-0 record, however to say they have taken it easy in their early season schedule would be putting gin mildly. This team has played the EASIEST schedule in Division 1 college basketball thus far (SOS ranked 353rd). They have played all 6 games at home and their opponents have been Mount St Mary’s, Maryland Eastern Shore, UNC Ashville, Maine, St Peter’s, and Mercer. Four of those six opponents are ranked below 300 and the best team they’ve played, Mercer, is ranked 175th. That game was on Saturday and went to the wire with NC State holding on for a 78-74 win. Wisconsin will be much more prepared for this caliber of opponent. They have already beaten Xavier (on the road), Oklahoma (neutral site), Stanford (neutral site) with their lone loss coming by 7 points at the hands of #3 Virginia on a neutral court. Despite their tough schedule the Badger’s wins have all been fairly convincing with their closest coming by 9 points @ Xavier. They topped Oklahoma by 20 & Stanford by 16. Wisconsin’s defense has been outstanding ranking 7th in nationally in adjusted efficiency. They have allowed less than 60 points in 4 of their 6 games. They’ll make it very tough on an NC State offense that has put up lots of points (90 PPG) but hasn’t played a defense ranked inside the top 171 in efficiency. Offensively the Badgers have shot the ball very well from deep (42% from beyond the arc) and with the top post presence in the country inside in Ethan Happ, they are tough to defend. They rank 19th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. NC State has not faced an offense ranked higher than 180 and 4 of the 6 offenses they’ve faced are ranked 336th or lower which means the bottom 17 in all of college basketball. UW has been home from their Bahamas tourney since Friday night so they’ve had plenty of time to rest and get ready for this one. As we mentioned the Wolfpack are playing their first road game of the season and they are a putrid 7-20 ATS their last 27 away from home. The trend continues on Tuesday and the Badgers roll up a double digit win at home.
|11-25-18||Memphis v. College of Charleston UNDER 138.5||Top||75-78||Loss||-110||6 h 13 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON - Under 138.5 Points - Memphis vs College of Charleston, Sunday at 6:30 PM ET
Two bad shooting teams lead to an UNDER play in this game. Memphis ranks 275th nationally in eFG% (46.6%) while Charleston ranks 221st (49%). Worse yet, these are two of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation which will make it very tough to get to this total. The Tigers make just 26% of their 3’s (332nd nationally) and C of C makes only 24% (339th nationally). Memphis likes to play fast if they can however the Cougars are one of the slowest paced teams in the nation and when that is the case the slow team usually gets the tempo they want. Since their first two games vs inferior opponents, Charleston has cashed 4 straight UNDERS and they have not topped 128 points in any of those games. Memphis has had a few higher scoring games this year, however those we versus teams that shoot the ball very well (LSU & Oklahoma State) and like to play fast as well. The Tigers most recent game on Friday against Canisius was 71-63 and we look for similar result here. This game is on a neutral site in Orlando and each team will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days here which won’t help their shooting woes. Take the UNDER here.
|11-24-18||Colorado -4.5 v. Air Force||Top||93-56||Win||100||4 h 25 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Colorado -4.5 over Air Force, Saturday at 6:00 PM ET
The Buffs are coming off a 70-64 road loss @ San Diego on Tuesday (we were on San Diego -4) and have had a few days to recoup for this trip. It’s definitely not a tough travel spot for CU as Air Force is just 97 miles away. In their loss @ USD on Tuesday, the Buffs played fairly well against an experienced team that had 20 wins a year ago. CU led by 1 late in the game but were unable to hold on. Turnovers and rebounding were a problem in that game as we thought they might be. However, today they play an Air Force team that was just 12-19 last year and has started this season 2-3. The Falcons are not a great rebounding team (245th nationally in offensive rebounding) and they do not create turnovers (17% forced TO rate which is 252nd nationally) so those aspects shouldn’t be a problem today for Colorado. AF has not played a team ranked in the top 150 yet this season and even so they have 3 losses (vs High Points, UMBC, and Texas State). Despite their easy schedule to date, they’ve turned the ball over at an alarming rate (26.5% which is 347th nationally) and they are not an efficient offense (272nd nationally). Despite their loss @ San Diego, Colorado coach Tad Boyle was very pleased with his team’s defense as they allowed the Toreros to make just 37% of their shots. They should be able to shut down this struggling AF offense who is averaging just 63 PPG vs teams not named Johnson & Wales (yes they played that team and that is one of AF’s win). Colorado won this meeting by 12 last and has won 8 straight in this series (all but 1 by at least 7 points). Colorado gets the cover on the road here.
|11-23-18||Northern Iowa v. Old Dominion -6.5||Top||65-72||Win||100||22 h 52 m||Show|
ASA 10* CBB PLAY ON Old Dominion -6.5 over Northern Iowa, Friday at 7:00 PM ET
These two just played on Monday so we get a quick revenge spot for ODU. They faced off in St Thomas Virgin Islands just 5 days ago and UNI pulled off the 54-53 win as a 2.5 point underdog. The Monarchs had a nightmare offensive performance in that game making only 32% of their shots including 7 of 24 from beyond the arc. ODU controlled the boards with 13 offensive rebounds (just 2 for UNI) and because that they attempted 61 shots to just 49 for the Panthers. Because they shot so poorly it didn’t matter. However, now they are at home for the first time since November 6th and we expect a much better offensive game from the Monarchs. They should control the boards again and this team those extra opportunities will turn into points. We also don’t expect Northern Iowa to make 11 of their 25 shots from beyond the arc (44%) as they did in that first game. All of that and UNI still only won by a single point. ODU has struggled shooting but they’ve been on the road for all but one game. Their defense has been a constant allowing only one of their five opponents to top 56 points. This team returns 4 of their top 7 players from a team that was 25-7 a year ago. They’ve won 15 of their last 17 home games and will be extra motivated here in this quick revenge spot. Northern Iowa played in the Virgin Islands on Friday, Saturday, and Monday just as ODU did, however they are back on the road again in a tough scheduling spot. They have also won just ONCE in their last 13 true road games. Lay it as Old Dominion rolls.
|11-20-18||Colorado v. San Diego -4||Top||64-70||Win||100||6 h 25 m||Show|
ASA CBB 10* PLAY ON San Diego -4 over Colorado, Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET on ESPNU
This is a huge prime time game for USD on a stage they normally don’t get. This is a home game vs a Pac 12 team and the game is on ESPNU. Those factors alone should bring a top notch effort and performance from the Toreros. That is obviously not the only reason we like San Diego here. First of all they are a very experienced team with 3 seniors and 1 junior in the starting lineup. All 4 were key performers on last year’s 20 win team. The Toreros are the 6th most experienced team in the nation so not only the starters but all rotation players as well have been together for a number of years. They come into this game with a 3-1 record and their only loss coming by just 3 points @ Washington, who was picked by some to win the Pac 12 this year and no worse than 3rd in that league by most experts. It was a game that San Diego led by 9 in the second half when leading scorer Isaiah Pineiro (20 PPG) got into foul trouble and had to sit out 10+ minutes giving the Huskies an opportunity to make a run. While USD is playing their 5th game of the season, Colorado has only played twice this year vs weak competition. Their most recent game they were favored by 17 vs Nebraska Omaha at home and struggled to win by just 4 points. The Buffs are on the road for the first time this year and they have not been a money maker away from home going just 18-40-1 ATS their last 59 road games. They were just 1-10 SU in true road games last season. The Buffs also must replace 3 of their top 6 scorers from a year ago. San Diego beat Colorado on the road last year 69-59 and basically bring back the same team so we expect a similar outcome tonight.
|11-19-18||SE Missouri State +6 v. South Alabama||58-79||Loss||-108||4 h 52 m||Show|
ASA play on: #589 SE Missouri State +6 over South Alabama, Monday at 8:00 PM ET - South Alabama is one of the worst shooting teams in the nation so far this season. If you throw out their game vs Huntingdon (don’t ask) they are shooting just 32% from the field and averaging only 59 PPG. They rank 347th out of 351 teams in offensive efficiency. They are 2-2 on the year with their only wins coming against Huntingdon and Chattanooga (ranked 329th nationally). They were just beaten 71-48 at home vs Jacksonville. Their opponent tonight, SE Missouri State, played that same Jacksonville team last Friday on this court (Mobile, AL – South Alabama’s home court) and beat them 77-71. SEMO controlled the boards in that game (+13) while South Alabama was outrebounded by 13 against that same Jacksonville team. After losing to Saint Louis & Bradley to start the season, the Redhawks have some momentum entering tonight winning 3 straight. They are a solid defensive team ranking 58th nationally in eFG% defense and 7th nationally in 3 point FG% defense. That will be a problem for the Jaguars who, as we told you, can’t shoot. In this one we get the better defensive team and better rebounding team getting points. We’ll take it.
|11-14-18||Niagara v. Loyola-Chicago -16||62-75||Loss||-105||6 h 36 m||Show|
ASA 8* CBB PLAY ON Loyola Chicago -16 over Niagara, Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET
Great spot here for Loyola. The Ramblers, as you probably remember, made a great run to the final 4 last season. They finished the season 32-6 and they return 4 of their top 6 players from that team, including PG Clayton Custer who was the talk of the tourney last year. In their season opener they crushed UMKC 76-45. That UMKC team was rated 262nd in the Ken Pom efficiency ratings at the time of the game. Tonight’s opponent, Niagara is rated 253rd so very similar teams as far as we are concerned. What makes this a great spot it Loyola played very poorly in their 2nd game of the season and they were upset 60-58 by Furman. The Ramblers blew a 13 point second half lead and they were just 3 of 20 from deep (15%) in that tight loss. You can expect them to come out with some fire tonight as they’ve had 5 full days to let that loss stew. This is a team that has a shut down defense allowing opponents to shoot just 34% and just 52 PPG after 2 games. It isn’t a fluke as this team gave up just 62 PPG last season. Niagara is playing just their 2nd game of the season tonight which comes after they upset St Bonnies at home 80-72 just 2 nights ago (Monday). The Purple Eagles shot just 43% and allowed 47% in that game but benefitted 19 made FT’s to just 2 for St Bonnies (+17 at the FT line). We look for them to struggle from the field again tonight but they an advantage at the stripe vs a Loyola team that doesn’t foul much. Take Loyola Chicago.
|04-02-18||Michigan v. Villanova UNDER 145||Top||62-79||Win||100||8 h 7 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 145 Points - Michigan vs Villanova, Monday at 9:20 PM ET
We’re going contrarian here and taking the UNDER in this game. More than 70% of the bets in this game have come in on the over and that’s understandable after everyone watched Villanova shoot the lights out on Saturday in route to putting up 95 points on Kansas. The last thing bettors see usually sticks with them and that affects what they play moving forward. Thus, why many (and most) will see this as a high scoring game. The Cats made 55% of their shots in that game a made a record breaking 18 three pointers vs a KU defense that was pretty average for most of the season. That game played out perfectly for the over with Nova getting out to a hot start which pushed them to a double digit lead. Kansas likes to play fast anyway and when down by 10+, they did just that which played into Villanova’s hands as well. Each team attempted 62+ shots and 61 combined 3 point attempts! We don’t see any way Nova comes close to shooting like that tonight vs a Michigan defense that now ranks 3rd nationally in defensive efficiency. After a rough first half on Saturday, the Wolverine defense contested 24 of Loyola’s 27 shots in the 2nd half limiting the Ramblers to just 28 points. IN their previous game, Michigan’s defense contested 90% of FSU’s shots for the game. Their defense has now limited 12 of their last 13 opponents to less than 1.00 point per possession. Now we realize that will be tough to do vs this Villanova offense, however the point is the Wildcats will have a MUCH tougher time scoring in this game. On top of that, Michigan knows their best shot in this game is to play very slow (as they normally do – 324th nationally in tempo) and shorten this game. Unless they get way behind early, we believe that’s just what Michigan will do. A slow game with fewer possessions than normal. Neither team gets to the line very often and neither teams fouls very often so we don’t expect much from the FT line unless there is some “scrambling” late in the game with fouls. Offensively Michigan hasn’t played very well in this tourney believe it or not. It’s been their defense that has gotten them to this point. With the exception of their game vs Texas A&M, the Wolverines have shot 31% or less from 3 point land in their other 4 NCAA tourney games. They have scored 58, 61, 64, and 69 points in those other four games. Nova’s defense ranks 14th nationally in defensive efficiency so don’t look for Michigan to “get well” offensively here. The one team Villanova played in this tourney that is somewhat similar to Michigan (great defense, slow pace) is Texas Tech. In that game the Cats won 70-58 so the two combined for only 128 points. While we expect a few more points scored tonight, we think this one stays somewhere in the 130’s and we’ll take the UNDER.
|03-31-18||Loyola-Chicago v. Michigan -5||Top||57-69||Win||100||27 h 28 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Michigan -5 over Loyola Chicago, Saturday at 6:05 PM ET
We are very confident that this is where Loyola’s Cinderella run comes to an end. They have been very solid, but also very fortunate to get to this spot. The Ramblers first 3 wins in the tourney came by a combined 4 points with 2 wins coming at the buzzer. They have shot ridiculously well to get to this point making 52.5% of their shots in the tourney. Even with that, 3 of their games came down to the final possession. Even in their most recent win over KSU, they shot 57% overall and 50% from three while the Wildcats couldn’t hit the broadside making only 34% of their shots and 24% from deep. KSU also was forced to play without their leading scorer and rebounder Dean Wade who played some in their previous game but was unable to go vs Loyola. With that 16-point win, the Ramblers still have just a +20 point differential in this tourney (Michigan is +46). Now they face a Michigan defense that has been absolutely fantastic. The Wolverines rank 4th nationally in defensive efficiency and they’ve held 11 of their last 12 opponents to less than 1.00 point per possession which is ridiculously good. By comparison, Loyola’s defense is also solid but they’ve allowed 3 of their 4 opponents in the NCAA tourney alone to reach at least 1.00 point per possession. If Loyola can’t make a high percentage of their shots as they’ve done the entire tourney, they are in trouble here. That’s because they simply don’t take many shots. They’ve attempted just 198 shots this tourney (only 49.5 shots per game) and they’ve attempted 30 fewer shots than their opponents. Thus you better shoot awfully well or get to the line A LOT to make up for that deficiency. We don’t see them doing either here as the Wolverines also foul as little as any team in the tourney. On the other end of the court, Michigan can shoot the ball every bit as well as Loyola. They have scorers and shooters at every position as well as many that come off the bench. The Wolverines don’t turn the ball over (4th nationally in lowest turnover percentage) while Loyola has coughed it up 15 & 16 times their last 2 games and ranks 218th nationally in that category. Michigan should also have the rebounding edge in this game. Those two factors, along with a few things we discussed earlier in this analysis, should keep Loyola at a hefty deficit in shots attempted. The Wolverines have now won 13 straight games all vs solid to top notch competition (NCAA tourney & Big Ten) and only 2 of those 13 have come by less than 6 points (current line here is -5 or -5.5). Those were games vs Houston and FSU – and the Wolverines led by 10 late in the FSU game when the Noles hit a couple of crazy 3’s to make it closer than it should have been (58-54 final). Only three 11-seeds have made the Final Four and all of them have seen their seasons come to an end at that point. LSU lost by 11 in 1986, George Mason lost by 15 in 2006, and VCU was upended by 8 in 2011. Loyola has had a great run but we see a similar fate here. Take MICHIGAN to win this by double digits.
|03-30-18||San Francisco v. North Texas OVER 140||Top||77-88||Win||100||26 h 2 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Over 140 Points - San Francisco @ North Texas, Friday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU
We like the value with the OVER here as this total has dropped 6 full points from their opening match up on Monday. That total was set at 146, Wednesday’s total was 143, and now we’re getting this number in the 140 range. Obviously the oddsmakers are adjusting downward as each of the first 2 games have gone under the number. North Texas has shot poorly in both games not reaching 40% in either. They’ve been getting plenty of shots off with 68 attempts in each game. If UNT can shoot better here, which we think they will as they’ve shot 47% at home this year, they will put plenty of points on the board. Let’s not forget this team 90 points or more in each of their first 3 games in this CBI tournament so they are absolutely capable. The Mean Green have scored at least 69 points in 7 of their last home games and they reached 69 on Wednesday despite shooting under 40% and making only 2 of their 18 three point attempts. They have made just 6 of their 39 three point attempts (15%) and they are a much better shooting team that those numbers would indicate (35.2% from 3 this year). We expect them to hit the mid to upper 70’s here. San Fran relies heavily on the 3 point shot and when they are on they can put points on the board. They made 14 three pointers in their opener vs UNT but made only 9 of 30 from deep on Wednesday. The Dons also hit a huge drought on Wednesday going a full 9 minutes without a FG spanning late 1st half into the 2nd half. Now that they’ve played a game here and they are used to the venue, we’d expect them to play much better offensively on Friday. They have scored 72 or more in 3 of their 5 CBI games and we’d expect the Dons to get to at least 70 here. We also look for more points from the charity stripe as the first two games have totaled only 10 and 17 points from the line, despite the fact both teams are prone to fouling (232nd and 285th in FTA/FGA per game defense). Shot attempts haven’t been a problem in this series as they’ve attempted 255 which is an average of 63 per team per game which is quite high. Look for the poor shooting percentages to improve here as each has underperformed by quite a bit thus far. If the game is close late as we anticipate it will be, fouling leading to extra points from the FT line is a strong possibility as well. Remember this is the Championship game of the CBI and there is no tomorrow for these teams. Take the OVER on Friday night.
|03-28-18||San Francisco v. North Texas -3||Top||55-69||Win||100||29 h 56 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* North Texas -3 over San Francisco, Wednesday at 8:30 PM ET on ESPNU
We were on UNT on Monday night as they came into that game @ USF playing their best basketball of the season. They lost that game by 10 and now it’s do or die time for the Mean Green. They now get to play host to USF and a loss would end their season. A North Texas win would send this to a deciding game 3 on Friday night. UNT had cruised through this tourney leading up to Monday night’s game destroying 3 straight opponents (South Dakota, Mercer, and Jacksonville State) scoring 90 or more points in each game. What was even more impressive is that they were underdogs in 2 of the games and favored by just 1 point in the other one. On Monday night they simply shot very poorly (39%) and made only 4 three pointers the entire game. San Francisco took a whopping 33 three point attempts on Monday and made 14 of them. That was the difference in the game. The Dons have relied heavily on the 3 pointer all season long with 37% of their points coming from beyond the arc (53rd most nationally). That makes it tough here in an arena they’ve never played in and facing a UNT defense that ranks 15th nationally at defending the arc allowing just 31.7% shooting. SF was able to capitalize on their outside shooting at home but we feel that will be their demise here vs a fired up Green defense. The Dons are not a great 3 point shooting team to begin with and on the road they are poor from deep hitting only 32% of their shots from behind the line. Speaking of road games, USF has yet to play away from home in this tourney so they’ve had a definite advantage. This will actually be their first true road game in over a month! San Fran finished just 4-7 in true road games this season and all of their road wins came against teams that were at least 4 games below .500 or worse. In fact, their 4 road wins came against teams that ended the season with a combined 41-86 record. We expect UNT to play very well at home in this must win spot and take care of business vs San Francisco.
|03-27-18||Western Kentucky -1 v. Utah||64-69||Loss||-106||4 h 17 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Western Kentucky -1 over Utah, Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN
The Hilltoppers definitely had the toughest route to Madison Square Garden having had to beat 3 Power 5 teams (BC, USC, and Oklahoma State) with 2 coming on the road. Their final 2 wins @ USC and @ OSU were extremely impressive as those were two teams that many thought should have been in the NCAA tourney. USC finished by themselves in 2nd place in the Pac 12 behind only Arizona and beat Utah (WKY’s opponent tonight) handily both times they faced off by 16 and 17 points. Then, even more impressive, the Hilltoppers had to travel from LA to Oklahoma and play @ OSU just 45 hours after they upset USC. They not only beat a very good Oklahoma State team, they did so fairly easily leading basically the entire way and winning by 8. The Cowboys largest and only lead of the game was 7-6 just a few minutes into the game. Other than that, WKY led throughout. Many may look at this match up and simply assume that Utah has played a much tougher schedule getting them ready for this situation. That is not the case. These two have played a very similar SOS and Western Kentucky has beaten 12 teams this year that had at least 20 wins on the season. That includes a win over Purdue earlier in the season to go along with their recent 3 game run in the NIT. They also played Villanova to the wire losing by 8, lost a tight game @ Ohio who won the MAC and beat Arizona in the NCAA, and lost @ Wisconsin by 1 point. The Pac 12 has shown to be very weak this year as they didn’t win a single game in the NCAA tourney (Arizona, UCLA, and Arizona State all lost in the opening round) and all but Utah exited the NIT fairly quickly. The Utes rely heavily on the 3 point shot with 38% of their points coming from deep (36th nationally) which puts them at a disadvantage playing here at Madison Square Garden, a tough shooting venue, for the first time this season. WKY is the opposite as they get almost 60% of their points from inside the arc (8th nationally) and not having to rely on the outside shot in this game will be key. Western is playing with great confidence winning on the road at two very tough spots and we think that carries over here. Take Western Kentucky in this game.
|03-26-18||North Texas +5 v. San Francisco||Top||62-72||Loss||-105||7 h 22 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* North Texas +5 over San Francisco, Monday at 10 PM ET on ESPNU
UNT is being undervalued in this one. If you look strictly at the records, SF looks like they should be a decent favorite in this game as they are. UNT is 18-17 on the year while San Francisco comes in with a 21-15 mark. The Mean Green are much better than their record in our mind. They played in a tough Conference USA that included MTSU, Marshall, and Western Kentucky who all fared well in their post-season tourneys. Marshall won a game in the NCAA tourney beating Wichita as a double digit underdog and Western Kentucky is set to play in the NIT Final 4. They struggled a bit early in the season with a few key injuries and they were adjusting to a brand new system under new head coach Grant McCasland. They are clicking on all cylinders right now having scored at least 90 points in each of their 3 CBI games with wins coming by margins of 90-77 @ South Dakota, 96-67 vs Mercer, and 90-68 vs Jacksonville State. And the Mean Green were UNDERDOGS in the first two games listed above and favored by just 1 vs Jacksonville State. Even with that they continue to get little to no respect here. While UNT has been breezing through their games including a road win @ a very solid South Dakota team who is power ranked 70 spots higher than San Francisco, the Dons have been squeaking by at home. The Dons have played all 3 games in the CBI at home winning by margins of 4, 5, and 3 points (vs Colgate, Utah Valley, and Campbell). San Fran finished the year with 6 losses at home and in the WCC they were 9-9 but struggled against the upper half of the league. There were 4 teams besides USF that had a winning record overall this season. Those teams were San Diego, BYU, St Mary’s, and Gonzaga and the Dons had a 1-8 record vs those teams this year. Interestingly enough, one of those teams, San Diego, played host to UNT back in mid-December and the Mean Green won by 3. That was at a point in the season when North Texas wasn’t playing particularly well. On the other hand, USF lost both meetings with San Diego this year. North Texas is extremely confident coming into this one and we feel they have a great shot to win this game. Take the points.
|03-25-18||Duke -3 v. Kansas||Top||81-85||Loss||-105||7 h 12 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON: Duke -3 over Kansas, 6PM ET – We know its dangerous to lay points in the Elite 8 but it’s warranted here. Granted, the Blue Devils are off a close win against Syracuse but that was a game played in the 60’s by both teams with limited possessions. That made it much more difficult for the favorite to cover the spread. That shouldn’t be the case today as both Duke and Kansas prefer to play fast, ranking in the top 76 in terms of average possession length. Kansas is coming off a win over Clemson by 4-points, the same Tiger team Duke beat by 8 earlier this season. The Blue Devils key advantage in this match up is on the boards where they rank #1 in the nation in offensive rebounding and they’ll be going up against a Jayhawk D that is 295th in rebounding. The Dukies also have a slight advantage defensively with a top 10 defensive efficiency rating allowing just .939 points per possession. Going back to the regular season, in Duke’s last 8 wins, 7 have come by double digits. On the season the Blue Devils have an average point differential of +15PPG, Kansas is +10PPG. Duke has covered 9 of their last twelve and we like that trend to continue here. Lay it!
|03-24-18||Florida State v. Michigan UNDER 143.5||Top||54-58||Win||100||29 h 21 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 143.5 Points - FSU vs Michigan, Saturday at 8:45 PM ET
We used Michigan Under the Total on Thursday night vs A&M and obviously we were bitten by some ridiculous shooting from the Wolverines. They hit 61% of their shots including 14 of 24 (58%) from deep. It was simply one of those games for the Michigan offense where everything and everyone was clicking at the same time. Many will look at this number and immediately jump on the OVER after watching the Wolverines put up nearly 100 points by themselves on Thursday. We see it as a chance to catch some value with the UNDER in this one. This total is set higher than it should be because of that recent result. We see no way Michigan comes close to duplicating that shooting performance here vs the long athletic defenders from FSU. Let’s not forget that was the same Michigan team on Thursday night that made just 39% of their shots in their first 2 NCAA tourney games combined. The Seminole defense has been up and down this year, but they are absolutely locked in right now. They have allowed just 37% shooting in their 3 tourney games combined and that includes two games vs Gonzaga & Xavier who rank in the top 15 nationally in offensive efficiency. The Noles rotate 10 players on a regular basis and all are long and athletic and those fresh defenders will make it much tougher for the Wolverines this go around. FSU is a decent, not great, shooting team but they will struggle here vs a Michigan team that ranks 3rd nationally in defensive efficiency. Michigan rarely fouls so FSU won’t be going to the line often. The Wolverines don’t run an offense conducive to getting to the line so they won’t get many freebies either. And when either team does go to the FT line, they are poor (66% & 65%). Michigan is one of the slowest paced teams in the nation but they did attempt to run on Thursday as head coach Beilein obviously saw they could take advantage of a big A&M team that wasn’t good at getting back on defense. Our guess is he won’t want to do that here as FSU is deep and prefers to run. Thus we expect a slow paced game in this one. Again while many will like the Over based on recent results, we think there is a lot that points to this one staying UNDER the total.
|03-24-18||Loyola-Chicago v. Kansas State +1||78-62||Loss||-100||7 h 36 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON – Kansas State -1 over Loyola Chi, 6:05 PM ET - KSU’s defense has been among the best in the nation for the entire year. They currently rank 14th nationally in defensive efficiency and they've allowed only 180 points in the first three tourney games. That is impressive as they held a very good shooting Creighton team (10th nationally in eFG%) to a season low 59 points on just 34% shooting. The Cats then shut down a UMBC team to only 43 points on 29% shooting. That’s the same UMBC team that torched Virginia, the best defense in the country, for 74 points a few nights earlier. In their most recent game the Wildcats held the other Wildcats (Kentucky) to just 58 points which is really impressive considering KY is 24th in the country in OEFF at 1.161 points per possession. What we're getting at is the KSU defense will be the difference in this game as they're even better than their numbers suggest. Consider this. K-State has played the 33rd toughest schedule this season and their defensive numbers are that good against other Big 12 teams that all rank in the top 90 in offensive efficiency numbers, 3 in the top 10. Loyola has misleading defensive numbers (24th in DEFF) as 8 of the 10 teams in their conference rank 148th or worse in OEFF and they played them all twice this season. Three of those teams rank 200 or worse and their strength of schedule is 109th. The Ramblers won't stop a K-State offense that is better than their numbers indicate. The Wildcats faced a tough Big 12 schedule that includes 9 teams in the top 100 when it comes to DEFF rankings and yet still ranked 78th in OEFF. Loyola was a +1.5 point dog to Miami in the opening game of the tourney and it's the same spread today versus a Kansas State team that is better than the U. Loyola has been the media darling, and have survived three closes games, but their luck runs out here. PLAY on Kansas State.
|03-23-18||Texas Tech +2 v. Purdue||Top||78-65||Win||100||33 h 17 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Texas Tech +2 over Purdue, Friday at 9:55 PM ET
Wrong team favored here in our opinion. Our ratings had Purdue as a slight 1 to 2 point favorite in this match up and that was with giant Isaac Haas in the line up. Haas is now out with a broken elbow which greatly affects the Boilers on both ends of the court. It makes Purdue, an already heavily reliant 3 point team, even more so. With Haas out, the Boilers have almost no inside threat. Haarms is OK but he’s a freshman and very inconsistent and has only attempted 5 shots in the entire tourney so we can’t expect much from him. The problem then for Purdue is that Tech is a fantastic defensive team (4th in the nation in defensive efficiency) and they also defend the arc very well. In their 2nd round game vs a good shooting Florida team who also relies on the 3 point shot, the Red Raiders held the Gators to 6 of 22 from deep and they pressured UF on 20 of those 22 three point attempts. That means only 2 open threes in the game for Florida. The Boilers are already a shaky rebounding team and with Haas out of the line up that will be magnified. Thus we have Tech with advantages defensively and on the boards. On top of that, the Raiders (17th nationally in defensive turnover percentage) create far more turnovers than Purdue so another key advantage. Tech struggled toward the end of the regular season however much of that was due to their top player, Keenan Evans, being injured. He only missed one of those late losses but was hampered with his injury and limited in minutes in two others. He’s back full strength now and they’ve won 4 of 5 with their only loss coming in the Big 12 tourney by 3 vs a red hot West Virginia team. The return of Zach Smith for the Red Raiders is also key. The 6’8 senior was considered TT’s 2nd best player coming into the season but missed 14 games from January 9th thru February 26th. He’s now been back for 5 straight games, he’s healthy, and his minutes and productivity has been getting better each game. That makes this team much better than they even were during their Big 12 regular season run where they finished tied for 2nd behind Kansas in what many consider the best league in the land. We watch the Big 10 very closely and we saw Purdue start a declined in early February. They went just 3-3 in their final 6 regular season games two of their three wins were tight vs PSU and Illinois. They didn’t look great in the Big 10 tourney struggling to get by Rutgers in round one and getting ousted by Michigan in the semi finals. Last week they shot lights out vs Butler (54% overall and 45% from 3) and still went to the wire in a 3 point win. No way they shoot like that against this defense ranks 14th nationally in eFG% defense. Tech’s athletic perimeter defenders will give Purdue all kinds of problems here. On offense, Tech can score from both levels and with Haas out, that takes away Purdue’s rim protector so the Raiders will have success inside. We think Tech is the better team right now while Purdue is a bit over valued. Take the points here.
|03-23-18||Syracuse v. Duke UNDER 133.5||Top||65-69||Loss||-105||7 h 7 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 133.5 Points - Syracuse vs Duke, Friday at 9:35 PM ET
Syracuse knows the only chance they have in this game is to limit possessions by slowing the game to a crawl. That’s what they do anyway (345th in tempo) so we expect nothing different here. Duke is the much more talented offensive team, however with the Syracuse zone and their length (tallest team in the nation) they will give the Devils problems here just as they did in their lone meeting this season. That game ended with Duke winning 60-44 and that was with the two teams scoring a whopping 40 points over the final 10 minutes. The Syracuse defense did a great job keep the pace slow and limiting Duke’s easy looks as the Devils scored only 0.89 points per possession in that game. The Orange, who are a bad shooting team to begin with (325th in eFG%) were absolutely terrible against the Duke zone. Because of Duke’s length inside, the Orange were forced to try and shoot over the zone and that is not their forte. They are one of the worst 3 point shooting teams in the country and made only 6 of 24 from deep that day. Nothing will change here. Syracuse has won 3 games in the NCAA and they have yet to top 60 points! Two of those games vs Arizona State and TCU were against teams who rank outside the top 100 in defensive efficiency. The Syracuse offense will struggle big time here vs a Duke defense that is very good (9th nationally in defensive efficiency). On the other end of the court, the Orange defense is superb (5th nationally in defensive efficiency). In the tourney they have held their 3 opponents to just 56, 52, and 53 points. That’s impressive enough, however factor in the point that all 3 offenses (ASU, Michigan St, and TCU) are top 20 in the country in offensive efficiency and it becomes even more impressive. Duke obviously has a very good offense, however vs slow paced / very good defensive teams in the ACC (Syracuse, Clemson, and Virginia) the Devils and their opponents totaled 104, 123, and 128 points. We see this one with a bit more scoring than their first meeting which hit 104 but not nearly enough to get into the 130’s. UNDER here.
|03-22-18||Kansas State v. Kentucky UNDER 138.5||Top||61-58||Win||100||31 h 31 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 138.5 Points - Kansas State vs Kentucky, Thursday at 9:30 PM ET
KSU is a slow paced team ranking 303rd nationally in adjusted tempo. Kentucky is middle of the pack tempo wise but they’ve shown they will play fast or slow depending on the game. In their 3 games vs SEC teams that are similar in pace to KSU (Vandy, Georgia, and Mizzou) Kentucky and those opponents averaged 133 points. KSU will absolutely try and play this game as slow as possible to limit possessions which gives them a better chance to win this game. KSU’s defense has been among the best in the nation for the entire year. The currently rank 20th nationally in defensive efficiency and they allowed only 102 points in their first two tourney games. That was impressive as they held a very good shooting Creighton team (10th nationally in eFG%) to a season low 59 points on just 34% shooting. The Cats then shut down a UMBC team to only 43 points on 29% shooting. That’s the same UMBC team that torched Virginia, the best defense in the country, for 74 points a few nights earlier. Offensively KSU has scored only 69 & 50 points and that was against two defense ranked outside the top 100 in efficiency. Even with Wade back in the line up (he expected to play here) we don’t see the KSU offense going off on a Kentucky defense that is much better than the two teams they just saw. Kentucky has had two higher scoring games vs Davidson (151 total points scored) and Buffalo (170 total points scored) however that wasn’t unexpected. Davidson is a great shooting team (11th nationally in eFG%) and Buffalo loves to play fast. Both defenses were also ranked outside the top 100 in efficiency. Thus both teams have yet to see a defense in the tourney ranked inside the top 100 until here and now they each get to face a top 20 type defense. Neither team shoots the 3 particularly well and neither shoots a ton of 3’s. Kentucky made a grand total of 7 three pointers in their first two games while KSU made just 10 in their games. Both defenses are very good at stopping their opponents from deep thus the vast majority of points will come from inside the arc keeping this a lower scoring game. We like the UNDER in this one.
|03-22-18||Texas A&M v. Michigan UNDER 136.5||Top||72-99||Loss||-105||28 h 20 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 136.5 Points - Texas A&M vs Michigan, Thursday at 7:30 PM ET
With two top 10 defenses facing off here we have to side with the UNDER. The Wolverines are ranked 3rd nationally in defensive efficiency while A&M comes in at 10th in that category. Michigan is also a very slow paced team (329th in tempo) and we expect this game to be played in the half court with lots of clock eaten on most possessions. A&M will play either way and when they faced similar tempo teams in the SEC (Vandy, Georgia, and Mizzou) they combined to score 109, 120, 121, and 170 points. Their lone outlier was vs Vandy where they combined to score 170 but remember the Commodores defense ranks outside the top 200 in efficiency and the two teams combined to shoot 56% in that game. The Wolverines have allowed just 110 points in their 2 NCAA tourney games while A&M held both of their opponents under 70 points, including a potent UNC offense. The Aggies are an average shooting team that is not very good from beyond the arc (263rd nationally). They caught fire in their first two games hitting over 50% of their shots in each. Now facing a lock down Michigan defense that hasn’t allowed a team to get to 70 points in regulation since February 11th, we expect the A&M offense to look more like the average shooters they actually are. The Aggies get the majority of their points inside the arc and they do not get to the line very much. When they do they only shoot 66% on their freebies. Michigan is the opposite as they rely heavily on the 3 point shot. The problem is A&M defends the arc very well (20th nationally) and Michigan struggled from deep in their first two games hitting just 13 of their 46 attempts. The Wolverines also get to the line very little and when they do they are worse than A&M making only 65% of their FT’s. We look for this to be a half court grinder staying UNDER the total.
|03-21-18||Western Kentucky v. Oklahoma State -5.5||Top||92-84||Loss||-107||8 h 60 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Oklahoma State -5.5 over Western Kentucky, Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET
This is an extremely tough spot for the Hilltoppers. They just pulled off an upset @ USC on Monday night coming from 6 down late to pick up the 79-75 win. It was a physically and emotionally taxing game that saw 13 lead changes. Western shot very well making 54% of their shots and 16 of 17 FT’s in the game. We don’t see that happening Wednesday as fatigue will definitely be a factor. Four of the five WKY starters played 32+ minutes in the upset. That game didn’t start until 11:30 PM ET on Monday night and didn’t end until 1:30 AM. The Hilltoppers had to travel from California to Oklahoma and must play just 43 hours after the conclusion of their win @ USC. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, has played both of their NIT games at home and played much earlier on Monday Night. They didn’t play very well on Monday vs Stanford shooting just 35% from the field and making only 12 of their 23 FT attempts (they average 76% from the line as a team this year) and still won by 6 over a solid Stanford team. The Cowboys have 3 seniors on the starting line up who felt they were playing their final home game. That’s because if USC would have beaten WKY, the Cowboys would be traveling to California for this game. Now they get an extra boost emotionally with another home game they were not expecting. They should have a big home court advantage as well in this game. Normally the NIT draws smaller crowds but the OSU fans came out in droves on Monday with 10,000 in the seats which was the largest home crowd of the season for the Cowboys. Another large gathering is expected on Wednesday. OSU has 15 home wins on the season including topping NCAA tourney teams Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma here at Gallagher Iba Arena. We really like this Western Kentucky team, however this is a very bad situation for them playing the talented OSU team. Lay the small number.
|03-20-18||Mississippi State v. Louisville UNDER 144||79-56||Win||100||6 h 57 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Under 144 Points - Mississippi State @ Louisville, Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET
Defense should rule the day here as we have two teams who are very good on that end of the court. Louisville ranks 24th nationally in defensive efficiency and MSU ranks 44th. Both teams rank better defensively than they do offensively. Both teams defend the arc very well and neither fouls very often so we don’t expect many FT’s in this one. If the offenses decide to work around the hoop, both of these defenses are fantastic at blocking shots with the Cards ranking 10th in block shot percentage and MSU is 14th. Both teams played on Sunday so this short 48 hour turnaround could bring some tired shooting legs on each side. Both played in high scoring games on Sunday which we feel has pushed this total a bit higher than it should be. For comparison’s sake, MSU’s total @ Baylor on Sunday was 135. Baylor & Louisville have VERY comparable efficiency numbers both offensively and defensively yet this total is set nearly 10 points higher. Both Louisville & MSU along with their opponents all shot lights out on Sunday with all 4 teams topping 50% from the field. MSU, who is a terrible 3-point shooting team (329th nationally), made 13 threes and hit 56% of their shots from deep. Louisville, who had made 37% of their 3’s on the season, made 11 triples and hit over 50% of their shots from beyond the arc. Everything pushes back to the mean here as both teams will struggle to for stretches of this game and it stays UNDER the total.
|03-20-18||Penn State +2.5 v. Marquette||Top||85-80||Win||101||6 h 40 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Penn State +2.5 over Marquette, Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET
PSU has huge advantages defensively and on the boards which are two keys we always emphasize when handicapping basketball. We’re not talking about a subtle difference. PSU ranks 15th nationally in defensive efficiency. They just held a potent Notre Dame offense to just 63 points on 38% shooting in a 10 points win in South Bend. The Irish, who rely heavily on the 3 just as Marquette does, was held to only 4 three point makes in the game. After the game, Irish head coach Mike Brey mentioned that PSU’s length and athleticism at guard gave his shooters major problems. That will be the same situation here. The Golden Eagles rely as heavily on the 3 point shot as almost any team in the nation. Their guards are small with Rowsey and Howard both standing under 6’0. The Nittany Lions 3 guard line up features Tony Carr who is 6’5, Josh Reaves who is 6’4, and Shep Garner who is 6’2. All 3 are very good defenders and will give the Marquette guards fits in this game. If the Eagles can’t score from deep they are in big trouble and they have very little inside game (332nd nationally in percentage of points inside the arc). Rebounding will also be a key as we mentioned and PSU should dominate there. They are very good on both the offensive and defensive boards and Marquette is weak rebounding team. That should give the Nits plenty of extra opportunities and they should thrive inside vs a Marquette defense that ranks 301st nationally and defending the 2 point shot. The Eagles rank just 176th nationally in defensive efficiency and they’ve held only 8 opponents to under 1.00 point per possession this season. Both teams have won 2 games to get here but PSU’s route has been much tougher beating Temple and home then winning at Notre Dame (the last team left out of the Big Dance) by 10. Marquette has had 2 home games vs Harvard and Oregon (Pac 10 was obviously very weak this year). One of the Eagles key scorers, Sam Hauser, injured his hip in their win over Harvard and was questionable vs Oregon. While he did play, he was just 1 of 6 from the field and had only 5 points. If he struggles with the injury again here, Marquette is in trouble. PSU was the highest rated team in the Ken Pom ratings not to make the NCAA tourney (27th when the brackets were released). We agree this team is very solid. They also get an extra day having beat Notre Dame on Saturday while Marquette played on Sunday. PSU is the much more complete team and we anticipate they’ll pick up a road win here.
|03-18-18||Marshall v. West Virginia -12.5||Top||71-94||Win||100||12 h 30 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* West Virginia -12.5 over Marshall, Sunday at 9:40 PM ET
We used Marshall +12 over Wichita on Friday and picked up an easy win with the Herd winning outright. We felt that the Herd would be able to score vs a Wichita defense that was subpar. We also felt the Shockers were over rated all season long and took advantage of that. This is a totally different scenario. Marshall used a ton of energy in that game just 48 hours ago and played their starters massive minutes. Leading scorer Elmore played the full 40 minutes and 3 other starters played 35+ minutes. They were completely gassed at the end of that game. Now they must play a physical, pressing WVU defense on short rest. A defense that is impossible to prepare for in a short amount of time. We expect Marshall’s “shooting legs” to struggle here having to face constant pressure the entire game with almost no bench to rely on. The Herd are a weak rebounding team (worst in the Dance) and we felt they’d struggle vs Wichita in that aspect and they did. The Shockers were +14 on the boards and pulled down a whopping 41% of their misses. That didn’t hurt Marshall as much as it could have because they were able to hit 47% of their shots. Now with tired legs, as we mentioned, they face a WVU team that is a great rebounding team (4th nationally in offensive rebounding) and the huge rebounding edge will be magnified in this one. We also look for Marshall’s turnover numbers to be high here as they wear down in the 2nd half in this one. The Mountaineers won big over Murray State in their opener and were able to spread out their minutes because of that with only 1 starter logging 30 or more minutes. This line is high but not out of whack as WVU is better than Wichita and laying pretty much the same number. These long time in-state rivals renew their match up which stopped after the 2016 season and WVU logs an easy win here.
|03-18-18||Maryland-Baltimore County v. Kansas State -10||Top||43-50||Loss||-113||9 h 23 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Kansas State -10 over UMBC, Sunday at 7:45 PM ET
The dream ends for UMBC here. This team played WAY above their heads the other night in a win over Virginia. The Retrievers weren’t even the best team in their conference and in fact they were rated the 3rd best team in America East this year. They came from 9 behind late in the America East championship game to beat Vermont at the buzzer. That was a Vermont team that beat UMBC by 15 & 18 points during the regular season. This team caught lightning in a bottle yesterday hitting a ridiculous 54% of their shots vs UVA. The crazy part is, UMBC isn’t even a good shooting team. They rank barely in the top 200 in offensive efficiency and finished 5th in America East in FG%. They very rarely get to the FT line and have all kinds of trouble scoring inside. This team is now in situation they are obviously not used to. They weren’t even expected to be here and now the Retrievers have been thrust into the limelight for the last 48 hours. KSU is another one of those tough teams we really like. The Cats will dominate this team inside and on the glass. They are a very good defensive team that held one of the better offenses in the nation (Creighton) to just 59 points on 34% shooting on Friday in a 10 point win. We have no doubt that UMBC comes back to earth offensively and struggles to score. On the flip side we look for KSU to play very well offensively vs a UMBC defense that ranks 227th in eFG% defense. Let’s not overreact to one game where a team that simply isn’t very good played the absolute best they could possibly play on both ends of the court. They played a grand total of ONE tourney team this year (before UVA) and lost by 25 vs Arizona. KSU dominates this game and moves on to the Sweet 16.
|03-18-18||Clemson +1.5 v. Auburn||Top||84-53||Win||100||9 h 49 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Clemson +1.5 over Auburn, Sunday at 7:10 PM ET
Clemson was impressive yesterday handling a very good NM State team from start to finish and led by 18 at one point in the 2nd half. Many felt the Aggies had a great shot at the upset as the line dropped all the way to Clemson -3.5. This is a veteran team with all upperclassmen in the starting line up. They are tough minded and great defensively (9th nationally in defensive efficiency). We trust them to play well here. Not so much with Auburn. They are a young team that relies very heavily on the 3 point shot. They score very little inside the arc (341st nationally in percentage of points from 2 point range) and won’t here as Clemson is bigger and stronger inside. On Friday vs College of Charleston, the Tigers created 21 turnovers AND took 18 more FT attempts yet still trailed with under 3:00 minutes to go! They won by 4 (we were on C of C) but were not impressive. They played a very weak non-conference slate and while they began the SEC in red hot manner, the Tigers were just 4-5 down the stretch. We expect Clemson to dominate on the interior and slow this game down which is not what Auburn wants. We like the tougher team as a dog here. Take Clemson.
|03-17-18||Florida +1.5 v. Texas Tech||66-69||Loss||-104||10 h 30 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON: Florida Gators (+1.5) over Texas Tech, 8:40PM ET - Texas Tech limped into the NCAA Tourney with a 2-5 SU record and then beat Stephen F Austin in a non-covering win in the opening game on Thursday. What's significant is that TT continues to be over-valued by the oddsmakers. The Red Raiders are just 5-12-1 ATS their last 18 games and have not covered 8 straight. Let's also not overlook the fact that Texas Tech was 25-9 SU this season but 17-1 at home. Florida comes into this game off a relatively easy win over St Bonaventure and have the talent to make a run in this tourney. The Gators are 40th in OEFF ratings, 20th in DEFF and don't turn the ball over at 14.1 per game, 6th best in the nation. Florida has a +4.4 point differential on the road this season with impressive victories at Texas A&M, Missouri, Kentucky and Alabama, all of which are Tournament teams. They also beat Gonzaga this season on a neutral court and lost to Duke by just 3-points. The Gators are under-valued here again and has covered 4 of their last five.
|03-17-18||Loyola-Chicago v. Tennessee -5.5||Top||63-62||Loss||-105||8 h 41 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Tennessee -5.5 over Loyola Chicago, Saturday at 6:10 PM ET
Kudos to Loyola for their win in the opening round over Miami but it wasn't as big an upset as casual fans might think considering the Canes were favored by just 2 points. But now the Ramblers face a Tennessee team that is deep, talented, well coached and could make a run at the Final Four. The SEC is certainly proving a point in the Tourney thus far with a perfect 5-0 record as of this writing. The Vols have played the 6th toughest schedule in the nation and their 8 losses have all come against teams in the Big Dance. Despite playing that brutal schedule the Volunteers still rank 38th in offensive efficiency ratings and 5th in defensive efficiency. In the recent SEC tourney the Vols were favored by 3-points over Arkansas and 2-points over Kentucky so you can see for yourself the value in this line today. Loyola has put together a great season but the Missouri Valley isn't the SEC and they've faced the 132nd schedule. Other than Miami, the Ramblers haven't beaten a team ranked higher than 120th since early December. Tennessee has a huge advantage when it comes to offensive rebounding ranking 37th while Loyola ranks 331st. The efficiency differentials clearly favor the better team from the better conference. Lay the points with Tennessee.
|03-17-18||Buffalo v. Kentucky -5.5||Top||75-95||Win||100||7 h 42 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Kentucky -5.5 over Buffalo, Saturday at 5:15 PM ET
Buffalo shot lights out Thursday (56% overall & 50% from deep) vs an average Arizona defense. The Bulls made a whopping 15 three pointers vs an Arizona defense that is just 221st nationally at defending the arc. That worked in Buffalo’s favor on Thursday as they rely heavily on the 3 point shot. Now they face a Kentucky defense that allows opponent so shoot only 30% from deep which is 4th best nationally. On Thursday the Cats held Davidson (12th best 3-point shooting team) to just 33% from beyond the arc. If Buffalo can’t score from deep they are in trouble as less than 50% of their points come from inside the arc and they don’t go to the FT line very often. They’ll have trouble getting good looks period in this game as Kentucky is very long at all positions and come in with the 22nd most efficient defense overall. The Cats beat Davidson by 5 yesterday despite not making a 3 point shot the entire game. They were outscored 33-0 from beyond the arc and STILL won by 5. That tells you how much UK really dominated inside outrebounding Davidson 58 to 31! While they won’t have that type of dominance on the boards here, they should still control the glass, especially offensively where they rebound a whopping 35% of their misses (9th nationally). The Cats are a decent 3 point shooting team (35%) so Thursday was a bit of an aberration and we’d expect them to be more diverse here and score both inside and out. UK also gets to the line A LOT (6th best FGA/FTA ratio in the country) and the Bulls will help them with that as they foul quite a bit (296th in defensive FGA/FTA ratio). Buffalo will be a trendy underdog here as people watched them whip an over rated Arizona team, but let’s not forget how well this Kentucky team is playing. They rolled through the SEC tourney and have won 8 of their last 9 games with all but one of those wins coming by double digits. That was in the SEC Championship where the beat a very good Tennessee team by 5, but the Cats had a 17 point lead in that game so it could have been worse. Lay it here with Kentucky.
|03-16-18||Syracuse +5 v. TCU||57-52||Win||100||8 h 24 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Syracuse +5 over TCU, Friday at 9:40 PM ET
Here we have what we would consider on the fringe of being a college basketball blue blood program (Syracuse) against a TCU team on the rise but one that hasn’t been to the Dance since 1998. On the other hand, this is old hat for the Orange as they’ve been here 14 times since 1998! We think it’s a positive Syracuse already has a game under their belt beating UCLA while none of the TCU players have ever been here so you can expect some first game jitters. Also, the Orange are playing their 2nd game in 3 days but the travel was very easy as they went from Dayton to Detroit (only 200 miles apart). TCU likes playing fast but this game will be played at a slow pace and Syracuse will make sure of that (343rd in tempo). Very similar to what the Orange did to a very fast paced Arizona State team on Wednesday in a 60-56 win so the Cuse will have that advantage. The 3 slower paced teams in the Big 12 (KSU, Texas, & Texas Tech) gave TCU problems as the Frogs were 2-5 in games vs those teams. The Frogs began the season on a tear winning their first 12 games of the season (7 vs teams outside the top 100) but they have won only 9 of their last 20 games. TCU is solid offensively, however they will be facing a long zone (Cuse is the tallest team in the nation) they are not used to seeing as the vast majority of Big 12 teams play mostly man to man defense. Defensively we have a huge edge with Syracuse as they are 10th nationally in defensive efficiency and 20th in eFG% defense compared to TCU who ranks 105th and 267th in those 2 categories. We expect this one to go to the wire and getting 5 is the way to go here. Take Syracuse.
|03-16-18||College of Charleston +9.5 v. Auburn||58-62||Win||100||5 h 43 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* College of Charleston +9.5 over Auburn, Friday at 7:25 PM ET
This is a veteran C of C team (61st most experienced team in the nation) that simply knows how to win. They are 26-7 this season and over the last 2 years they are 51-17. The Cougars come into this game having won 14 of their last 15 games with their only loss during that stretch coming in OT. This team won’t get rattled which is something Auburn counts on to fuel easy buckets. The Tigers are very good at creating turnovers which lead to easy buckets. The problem is, this veteran C of C backcourt turns the ball over only 14% of the time which is 10th least in the nation. They are dangerous offensive team that shoots well at both levels and makes nearly 77% of their FT’s. The Cougars should get to the line in this game as Auburn fouls a lot. The Tigers like to play a match up zone defensively and that plays into Charleston’s hands as they are one of the better zone offenses in this tourney (11th best). We’re not sold on this Auburn team. They began the season 21-2 but have gone 4-5 over their last 9 games. They were destroyed by Alabama in their first game in the SEC tourney. The Tigers love to play fast but you can bet that Charleston will slow this game to a snail’s pace (324th in tempo). Auburn relies too heavily on the 3 points shot for us and we think this will be one of those games where the big underdog takes the favorite to the limit and has a chance to win. Take the points here.
|03-16-18||Kansas State +2.5 v. Creighton||69-59||Win||100||4 h 1 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Kansas State +2.5 over Creighton, Friday at 6:50 PM ET
KSU was shorthanded in the Big 12 tourney with two of their key players, Brown and Wade, injured. Wade, their 6’10 leading scorer and rebounder, injured his foot vs TCU and did not play vs Kansas in the Big 12 tourney. Brown, their 2nd leading scorer and top assist man, injured his eye very early on in the Kansas game and was not able to return. That was last Friday so they’ve both had a full week to recover and they are expected to play without limitations in this game. They also were able to have success on the road which is key. The Cats were 7-6 away from home this year (road/neutral) including true road wins over NCAA tourney teams Baylor, Texas, and should have been tourney team Oklahoma State. Creighton is a team that was sitting pretty in the Big East with a 4-1 record in mid January. Then they lost starting forward Martin Krampelj (12 PPG) for the season to an injury and they haven’t been quite the same since. After his injury, the Jays have lost 7 of their final 13 games with many of their wins going to the wire. Throw out their win over Bemidji State, and Creighton only has 1 win since January 17th that came by more than 8 points. They are fairly soft defensively (7th in the Big East in defensive efficiency) and were just 4-10 away from home (road/neutral). The Cats are a tough physical team that takes on the personality of their coach Bruce Weber. Creighton is more of a finesse team and we’ll take the tougher team all day long here, especially as an underdog.
|03-16-18||Butler -1.5 v. Arkansas||79-62||Win||100||24 h 10 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Butler -1.5 over Arkansas, Friday at 3:10 PM ET
This is a very good match up for Butler. The solid shooting Bulldogs should have a field day against a porous Arkansas defense (104th nationally in defensive efficiency). During the regular season, the Razorbacks were the 12th rated defense in the SEC ahead of only Ole Miss and Vandy who had the two worst records in conference play. In the SEC semi-finals, a decent but not great Tennessee offense put up 1.40 points per possession on this team. So big edge for Butler on the defensive end as they rank 49th in defensive efficiency and were the 3rd best defense in the Big East during the regular season. Offensively these teams are very close in shooting percentage and efficiency so we’ll call that end of the court a draw. Where Butler has a big edge on offense is at the FT line where they hit 77% of their freebies compared to just 67% for the Razors. We expect that to be a huge factor here as Butler should get to the line a lot as Arkansas sends teams to the FT line at a high rate. On top of that, the Arkansas offense is fueled by creating turnovers on the defensive end and Butler has a veteran backcourt that turns the ball over only 15% of the time which is 28th fewest in the country. The venue in Detroit definitely favors the Bulldogs as well as they should have a much larger contingent of fans as many made the 4 hour trip by car. Defense and free throws will be the key here as Butler wins and covers this small number.
|03-16-18||Georgia State +14 v. Cincinnati||53-68||Loss||-106||23 h 1 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Georgia State +14 over Cincinnati, Friday at 2:00 PM ET
We expect a low scoring, slow paced game here (the total is set at 130 currently) which will make it very tough for the Bearcats to cover this big number. Cincinnati is one of the slowest paced teams in the nation (323rd in adjusted tempo) while GSU doesn’t like to play fast either (235th in adjusted tempo). This isn’t a great match up for Cincy’s offense. They are not a very good outside shooting team (132nd nationally in 3 point shooting percentage) and they are facing a defense they don’t see very often. GSU plays a funky 1-3-1 zone and the Bearcats come in as the 10th least efficient offense in this tourney when facing a zone defense. On the flip side, Cincinnati’s defense is obviously very good as well, and they also play a zone much of the time (extended match up zone). However GSU is a very good outside shooting team (29th nationally in 3 point FG%) and they are the 5th most efficient offense in this tourney when facing a zone defense. Both teams played Sunday and won their respective conference tourneys with Cincy going to the wire beating Houston by 1 while Georgia State blew out a very talented and senior laden Texas Arlington team. The Panthers will struggle on the boards here but we feel they can make enough 3’s (29th nationally in 3 point FG%) to keep this one fairly close. While the venue in Nashville does favor the Bearcats, it’s definitely not an inconvenience for GSU as Atlanta is only a 3+ hour drive. The Panthers are a top 100 team and would be rated as the 5th best team in the AAC so this is no pushover. Cincy was favored by less this season vs comparable AAC teams (SMU & Temple) so the value is definitely with GSU here. Take the points.
|03-16-18||Marshall +12.5 v. Wichita State||81-75||Win||100||23 h 32 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Marshall +12.5 over Wichita State, Friday at 1:30 PM ET
Wichita is vastly overrated as a 4 seed in our opinion. We had them rated as the 3rd best team in the AAC this year (behind Cincy & Houston) and this team probably should be a 6 seed. The Shockers had just a 2-3 record against those top 2 AAC teams and weren’t playing particularly well down the stretch in our mind. Their last double digit win was over a month ago and that includes a number of games against weak AAC competition. This team is way down defensively from previous seasons (110th in defensive efficiency) and we feel this very good shooting Marshall team cans stay in this game to the end. The Herd have a number of guys that can shoot the 3 but they also shoot in very well inside the arc (15th nationally in 2 point shooting percentage) and they make over 76% of their FT’s. This is a very dangerous team with a player, Jon Elmore (27 points in the CUSA Final), that can carry a team. Marshall won the CUSA tourney beating a very good Western Kentucky team in the finals. Winning that conference is looking better as they may have been underrated based on what is happening in the other post-season tournaments. WKY blew out a very solid Boston College team in the NIT, MTSU won by 30 in their NIT game, and North Texas just went on the road and beat South Dakota 90-77 as a 13 point underdog! Marshall took Xavier to the wire on the road this year and beat the highest rated team in CUSA (MTSU) both times they met. This game will be much closer than this number. Take the points.
|03-16-18||Providence v. Texas A&M -2||Top||69-73||Win||100||21 h 17 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Texas A&M -2 over Providence, Friday at 12:15 PM ET
Providence is a popular underdog here getting nearly 70% of the bets in this game. That’s normally not a good thing. People like to bet favorites and when a dog is getting a high percentage of bets, the numbers don’t speak well for that team. In fact, since 2005, underdogs on the first weekend of the NCAA tourney receiving more than 50% of the bets have cashed in only 40% of the time. The Friars are one of the highest bet dogs on Friday but we like the other side. A&M has better numbers throughout the season and we don’t think it’s a great match up for Providence. Both have played a very tough schedule to the numbers are accurate. Neither team is overly efficient offensively with A&M holding a slight edge. Defensively, the Aggies are far superior ranking 12th nationally in both defensive efficiency and eFG% defense. They are the much better rebounding team as well. The Friars defend the 3 well but are not very good at defending close to the basket. That plays right into A&M’s game as they don’t shoot a ton of 3’s but they are big inside and like to score in the paint. Providence scores at a high rate from the FT line, however A&M doesn’t foul much. The Aggies also defense both levels (inside and outside the arc) very well and they defend the rim with a high number of blocked shots. The lone downside here is Texas A&M is not a great FT shooting team but we don’t expect that to hurt them here as we don’t look for either team to shoot a ton of FT’s in this game. The Friars made a physical and emotional run to the Big East Finals playing 3 OT games in their tourney. A&M has been off since last Thursday after losing by 1 point at the buzzer to Bama. We like the Aggies at this low number.
|03-15-18||St Bonaventure v. Florida UNDER 143||Top||62-77||Win||100||32 h 10 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 143 Points - St Bonnies @ Florida, Thursday at 9:55 PM ET
The Bonnies pulled the minor upset in the play in game and in doing so held the UCLA Bruins to just 58 points, 23 points below their season average. St Bonaventure employed a 1-3-1 zone against the Bruins which limited them to just 50 field goal attempts. We look for them to use the same tactics against the Gators as they simply do not match up with Florida. The Gators were 2nd in the SEC (4th toughest conference) in defensive efficiency ratings and are 27th overall in the nation allowing just .975 points per possession. The SEC is the 22nd slowest conference in the country (out of 32) while the A-10 is the 24th slowest. Florida was the 13th slowest team in the SEC, while the Bonnies were 5th in the Atlantic 10. St Bonaventure was 75th in the nation in defensive efficiency ratings at 1.001 points per possession allowed and that was against a top 100 schedule. Only 7 teams (Cincy, Duke, Syracuse, Kentucky, NC Greensboro, Providence and Auburn) that play a significant amount of zone defense rank higher than the Bonnies in defensive efficiency ratings. Florida played Cincy, Auburn and Kentucky twice and averaged 69.5PPG, 6.5 points less than their season average (also played Duke but the Blue Devils were not playing zone defense at the time). The pace of play and efficiency numbers tell us to bet UNDER here.
|03-15-18||Stephen F Austin +11.5 v. Texas Tech||60-70||Win||100||29 h 19 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* SF Austin +11.5 over Texas Tech, Thursday at 7:25 PM ET
SFA is a program that knows how to win and is very dangerous here as a double digit underdog. The Lumberjacks have a record of 273-86 over the last 11 years which is an average of 25 wins per year. They are used to this setting having made the Big Dance in 3 of the last 4 seasons and they haven’t been simply happy to be there as they have 2 wins over West Virginia and VCU. Playing in the Southland Conference SFA obviously doesn’t get a chance to play many Power 5 teams and to be honest they have trouble scheduling games vs those schools who really want nothing to do with them because of their success. The Lumberjacks did get a chance to play 3 Power 5 schools on the road this year and fared quite well winning @ LSU while losing by 1 point @ Mizzou and by 5 points @ Mississippi State. Their pressure defense causes problems for opposing teams as SFA turns opponents over on a whopping 26% of their possessions (1st in the nation). Tech isn’t great a protecting the ball (158th with a 18% turnover rate) and they are fairly thin at the ball handling spot when Keenan Evans needs a break. WVU plays very similarly on defense to SFA and Tech was 1-2 vs the Mountaineers with their lone win being a come from behind 1 point win at home. The Red Raiders were in a spot at one point in the season to win the Big 12 but they didn’t play well down the stretch losing 5 of their last 7 games with their only 2 wins coming by 4 points each. This game is in Dallas which is only 160 miles from SFA’s campus (350 miles to Lubbock). We think Tech gets a scare here before they move on. SFA covers this double digit number.
|03-15-18||NC State v. Seton Hall -2.5||83-94||Win||100||26 h 26 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Seton Hall -2.5 over NC State, Thursday at 4:30 PM ET
We feel that Seton Hall is a bit under seeded at 8 and NC State should be lower than a 9. The Hall is a very experienced team with 4 key seniors who have been through the Big East and NCAA wars together. They’ve been to the Dance each of the last 2 seasons but were bounced in the first round by Gonzaga two years ago and Arkansas last year. One of their goals this year was to get back to the NCAA and win a game and this is their final chance as a group that has been very successful (83 wins in their 4 years) but still has some unfinished business. The Pirates started to hit their stride late in the season winning 4 of their last 5 regular season games including road wins @ Providence by 12 and @ St Johns who was playing very well late (Johnnies beat Duke & Nova late in the season). The Hall also played their final 3 games without leading scorer and senior leader Rodriguez (18 PPG) but he is back and ready heading into the Dance. NC State thrives on creating turnovers in their full court press, however we don’t see that bothering the veteran guards for the Pirates. Once SH breaks the press, they love to score in the paint and that is a true weakness for the Wolfpack as they rank 297th at defending inside the arc. When they do miss, Seton Hall rebounds 34% of misses which is 29th nationally while NC State is 307th nationally in defensive rebounding. That should give the Pirates some extra opportunities at the rim to score. Both offenses are similar (24th and 26th nationally in offensive efficiency) but the Hall has a big edge defensively. We’ve watched both of these teams a lot this year and simply feel that Seton Hall is the tougher team and we like them in this game.
|03-15-18||Iona v. Duke UNDER 157.5||67-89||Win||100||22 h 27 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Under 157.5 Points - Iona vs Duke, Thursday at 2:45 PM ET
Duke is favored by 20 points in this game, thus the oddsmakers foresee a final score in the neighborhood of 89-69 in this game (that would be 158 total points). We don’t see either team getting to those numbers offensively. First of all, Duke is playing lights out defensively since switching to a zone a few weeks ago. Over their last 8 games the only team to reach 70 points was Notre Dame and that includes 2 games vs UNC who has the 5th most efficient offense in the nation (64 & 69 points). Now Iona (80th in offensive efficiency) is expected to get to 70ish in this game? We don’t think there’s any way that happens. At first glance the Gaels have impressive offensive numbers averaging 79 PPG on the season. However, let’s remember their conference, the Metro Atlantic, has a grand total of ONE team ranked in the top 100 in defensive efficiency and that is St Peters at 91st nationally. Duke’s defense is a whole different animal coming in ranked 7th in the nation in defensive efficiency. Iona played only 2 teams all season ranked in the top 30 in defensive efficiency (St Johns & Syracuse) and they scored 59 and 62 points in those games. Duke has the ability to put points on the board here vs an Iona defense ranked 212th in defensive efficiency. However, we envision the Devils getting a large lead and slowing the game down, with lots of subs in late knowing they play again in 48 hours. They don’t need to score 90+ points and the crazy part is, even if they do there is a good chance this game doesn’t go over. The average points scored in a #2 vs #15 game over the last 3 years is 151 points. Also, the last 10 times a 2 vs 15 total has been set higher than 145, the UNDER is 8-2. UNDER for us on this one.
|03-15-18||Oklahoma +2 v. Rhode Island||Top||78-83||Loss||-104||44 h 20 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Oklahoma +2 over Rhode Island, Thursday at 12:15 PM ET
Many of the national pundits are up in arms about Oklahoma making the tourney as they struggled down the stretch in what turned out to be the toughest conference in America this year, the Big 12. However, what about Rhode Island coming in as a 7 seed? This is a team that struggled down the stretch, played in a much weaker conference, AND was rated 49th nationally by Ken Pom (which is 12 seed range) which is lower than Oklahoma yet they received an at large and a 7 seed? And now the Rams are favored? You can bet with all of the talk about why they should not have received a bid, the Sooners will be very motivated to prove people wrong here. Let’s not forget this team was a top 5 team earlier in the season and beat the likes of Kansas, Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State, Baylor, and Wichita State this season. Should they have been rated as a top 5 team? Obviously not but they aren’t as bad as the pundits are making them out to be. Yes they struggled on the road in Big 12 play but who wouldn’t vs that schedule? Big 12 home teams were 62-30 on the year and only ONE team in the conference was .500 or above away from home in league play (Kansas). Let’s also not forget this OU team was favored @ Kansas State, @ Oklahoma State, @ Alabama and small road dogs @ WVU, @ TCU, @ Texas, and @ Baylor. And now they are a dog on a neutral court to Rhode Island? The Rams aren’t playing well right now. They lost 3 of their last 5 regular season games, struggled to get by VCU and St Joes in the A10 tourney before getting bounced by Davidson. This is a tough scheduling spot as well for URI playing on Sunday and now an early start on Thursday. We agree that OU looked a bit tired late in the season but they now have had more than a full week off to re-energize. They also have the best player on the court in Trae Young which is always a bonus, especially as an underdog. The Sooners will be motivated, have played the much tougher schedule, and are in a better situational spot. Take the points with Oklahoma here.
|03-14-18||UC-Davis +12.5 v. Utah||59-69||Win||100||30 h 23 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* UC Davis +12.5 over Utah, Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET
We think there is some solid value taking UC Davis as a double digit underdog here. UCD won the Big West regular season title with a 12-4 record but were ousted in the conference tourney by CS Fullerton who made the Big Dance. UCD had that game under control leading by 13 in the 2nd half before they went cold scoring only 6 points in the final 10:00 minutes and lost by 3. That was last Friday so they’ve had some time to recoup and the Aggies are excited to be playing a Power 5 team in round one of the NIT. This is a solid Davis team that went 22-10 this year and that was coming off a season where they made the NCAA, beat NC Central in a play in game before losing to Kansas. This year they played 2 Pac 12 opponents on the road beating Washington State by 14 and losing to Washington by 7. They are a top 100 team in defensive efficiency, a solid 3 point shooting team, and they turn teams over at a rate of 22% (11th in the country). They also proved they can play well away from home with a 9-6 record in road games including beating both 2nd place teams (UCSB & UC Irvine) on the road. After making the NCAA tourney in 2015 & 2016, the Utes failed to make it to the field of 64 last year and lost in the opening round of the NIT to Boise State. Utah had higher aspirations this year and have to be a bit discouraged they are again in the NIT. They needed to win at least 1 Pac 12 tourney game to possibly move close to the NCAA bubble but lost by 2 to an Oregon team that won the night before in OT vs Washington State. The Utes lost 3 conference home games this year and we feel they are overvalued here. In fact, we rate both Cal and Washington State well below UC Davis and Utah was favored by 12.5 and 10.5 in those games. The closest team in the Pac 12 ratings wise to UC Davis is Colorado and the Utes were just favored at home by 9 vs the Buffaloes. Value is on UC Davis and we think they keep this one fairly close.
|03-13-18||Florida Gulf Coast +10.5 v. Oklahoma State||68-80||Loss||-108||8 h 13 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Florida Gulf Coast +10.5 over Oklahoma State, Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2
Okie State is still in recovery mode after learning they did not make the NCAA tourney just 48 hours ago. The Cowboys felt they deserved to be in the Dance and playing with emotion in tonight’s game in front of what we heard will be a sparse crowd will be very tough. OSU head coach Mike Boynton summed up his team’s feelings after being left out of the Dance. "It's really, really hard when you set some goals and you feel like you're getting so close to achieving those goals and some of it you obviously don't do as well in controlling and then a decision comes that you just fell short," Boynton said Monday morning. While FGCU, who was the best team in the Atlantic Sun winning the regular season by 2 full games, was also disappointed in the outcome of the tourney as they lost in the Championship, they’ve had more time to recover. That loss occurred on March 4th so they’ve had 9 days to rest up, recover from the disappointment and get ready for the NIT. They are excited to have an opportunity to play a Power 5 team in round one. This is a very solid program having just won 20+ games for the 6th straight season. The Eagles made the NCAA last year and gave Florida State all they could handle in round one losing by 6. They can shoot the ball very well (21st nationally in eFG%) and they are a solid rebounding team which makes them a dangerous underdog. We like FGCU to hang around in this one and give OSU all they can handle. Take the points.
|03-13-18||Boston College +5 v. Western Kentucky||Top||62-79||Loss||-105||26 h 21 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Boston College +5 over Western Kentucky, Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET
We think this is a very tough spot for Western Kentucky. They were seconds away from the NCAA tournament just 72 hours ago in Texas and now they have to refocus and play a game that they may not be all the excited to be in. Their CUSA Championship game Saturday night was a big disappointment as they were favored by -5.5 vs Marshall but lost by 1 point. WKY trailed by 12 with 3:30 remaining and rallied late and had a chance to win. It was a Marshall team they had beaten twice during the regular season so you know the Hilltopper players were confident they were going to the Big Dance. BC, on the other hand, will be excited to be here. They haven’t been in any post-season tourney since 2011 and after finishing 7-11 in the ACC they knew they weren’t going dancing unless they won the ACC tournament which was not realistic. The Eagles played very well in the ACC tourney beating Georgia Tech by 10, then topping NCAA bound NC State before losing on Thursday to Clemson by 8. BC has now had 5 full days off to rest and get ready for this one which gives them the advantage. Not to mention, they have the best player on the floor in Jerome Robinson (ACC first team) and possibly the 2nd best player on the floor in point guard Ky Bowman. The Eagles have obviously played the much tougher schedule and they have beaten the likes of Duke, NC State, Florida State, Syracuse, and Miami FL. Meanwhile WKY played only 4 teams all season long that made it into the tourney and lost both games to Middle Tennessee State, the only team in CUSA that could come close to making a case for an at large bid. Too many points here as BC should have a great shot to win this game outright.
|03-11-18||Texas-Arlington +2 v. Georgia State||Top||61-74||Loss||-105||3 h 48 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* UT Arlington +2 over Georgia State, Sunday at 2:00 PM ET
As most of you know we’ve followed this UTA team very close all year and been very successful on or against them, including our College Game of the Year winner just a few weeks ago against this very Georgia State team. The Mavs are the most veteran team in the Sun Belt and one of the most veteran teams in the entire nation with 5 seniors in the starting line up. After winning the league last year with a 14-4 record but losing in the conference tourney, they had one goal coming into this season. Make it to the Big Dance. They didn’t win the regular season title and seemed disinterested at times despite their talent. That’s not the case now as they are on the door step to attaining their one goal this year and have been playing very well. Yesterday they beat UL Lafayette who won the Sun Belt by a full 4 games with a 16-2 record. UTA lost both regular season meetings to ULL by double digits and then beat them yesterday which tells you how good this team can be when focused. They split their two meetings this year with Georgia State winning by 8 at home and losing by 6 on the road. A few quick take aways from those two meetings. Ga State relies heavily on the 3 and took 60 attempts from beyond the arc in the two meetings. That doesn’t bode well today as UTA defends the 3 pretty well (109th nationally) and with this being their 3rd game in 3 days, Georgia State’s “shooting legs” may not be up to par. Also the Panthers are one of the thinnest teams in the nation ranking 342nd in bench minutes so 3 games in 3 days will be more taxing on this team than many others. Another key takeaway was that UTA absolutely dominated the boards at +26 in their two meetings. That won’t change here. The Mavs also get to the FT line more often on the season and they were +12 in FT attempts vs Ga State. If those 3 things hold true again today, which we believe they will, we have no doubt Arlington will win this game and move on to the Big Dance.
|03-10-18||Marshall v. Western Kentucky -5.5||67-66||Loss||-106||7 h 54 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Western Kentucky -5.5 over Marshall, Saturday at 8:30 PM ET
The WKU Hilltoppers have been one of the better teams in the conference all season long and have played a schedule that is 100 spots tougher than Marshall. In fact, Western has 11 wins this season over teams ranked in the top 150 by Kenpom while the Herd have just 4. WKU has 10 wins this season against programs with at least 20 victories: Old Dominion (3 times), UAB (2), Marshall (2), Purdue (1), Wright State (1) and Nicholls (1). WKU ranks in the top 10 in the country in field goal percentage and is first in Conference USA at 49.8 percent. WKU is tied with Villanova for the national lead with 11 games shooting 55 percent or better this season. Conversely, the Herd are ranked 291st in 2pt FG percentage at 45.5%. That also ties into the fact that the Hilltoppers have outscored their opponents 1,318-955 in the paint this season. That's significant here considering Marshall is not great defensively and allow foes to hit 44.7% of their FG attempts which is 196th in the nation. WKU beat Marshall twice this season and it's clear they have a matchup advantage that the Herd can't overcome. In the two meetings, Marshall shot just 40% in both while WKU shot 48% in one meeting and 62% in the other. The other glaring difference was the Hilltoppers rebounding advantage of +12 and +19 in the two meetings. When it comes to tournaments we like put more stock into what teams road statistics are. WKU has a +2.9 point differential away from home this year, while Marshall is minus -1.6PPG. Again, that's with Western playing a much tougher schedule. Western Kentucky by double-digits here!
|03-10-18||North Carolina v. Virginia OVER 125||63-71||Win||100||7 h 52 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Over 125, UNC vs Virginia, Saturday at 8:30 PM ET
ACC Championship game. When these same two teams met back in early January the oddsmakers posted a Total of of 134.5 points on the game. You can see for yourself the value we are getting with today's number. Tony Bennett's team is built around his father's (Dick) Pack-line principles and is one of the best in the nation. But to play it you have to expend a ton of energy and with this being their 3rd game in 3 days the Cavs will struggle on that end of the floor a little today. North Carolina clearly wants to play fast with the 50th fastest tempo offense in college hoops. The Heels average just 15.4 seconds to get a shot up which is 14th in the nation. NC has scored 80 plus points in 8 of their last thirteen games, 74+ in 12 of their last thirteen. Our math model predicts 132 total points here and we agree!
|03-10-18||Toledo v. Buffalo -6.5||Top||66-76||Win||100||5 h 27 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Buffalo -6.5 over Toledo, Saturday at 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo has been the best team in the MAC from beginning to end this season and we expect them to roll to an easy win and head to the Big Dance. Both are playing their 3rd game in 3 days, however Buffalo has been able to spread their minutes out with two easy wins. On the flip side, Toledo comes into this one having won by 2 on Thursday and by 1 yesterday and their starters logged big minutes in both. Speaking of starters, Toledo’s top player, Treshaun Fletcher (18 PPG), injured his knee 20 seconds into last night’s game and was unable to return. He also tweaked that same knee the night before vs Miami OH so it’s an obvious problem. He’s listed as questionable today and if he doesn’t play the Rockets are in huge trouble. Even if he does play there’s no way he can be 100% if he couldn’t even come back in a do or die tight game last night. Both of these offenses are very good ranking 1 and 2 in the MAC in offensive efficiency. However, the Bulls have a big edge on defense ranking 2nd in the MAC in defensive efficiency to 8th for Toledo. Buffalo is also better on the board and they turn the ball over less. These two met once this year and Toledo shot 54% overall and 50% from 3 point range and STILL lost by 10. Toledo’s Fletcher scored 27 points in that game and was 10 of 14 from the field and they still lost by 10. If he can’t go today it’s over. Even if he can, we still like Buffalo to win this one easily.
|03-10-18||San Diego State -4 v. New Mexico||82-75||Win||100||4 h 26 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* San Diego State -4 over New Mexico, Saturday at 6:00 PM ET
SDSU is one of the hottest teams in the country. They have won 8 straight by an average margin of 14 PPG. We were on them on Thursday as they rolled over a very solid Fresno team. Yesterday they played the best team in the MWC, Nevada, and won 90-73 but it wasn’t nearly that close. The Aztecs actually led 55-25 at half, were outscored by 13 in the 2nd half and still won by 17! So the Aztecs have beaten the best team in the MWC and the 4th ranked team in the MWC with ease coming into today’s game. New Mexico has had the much easier route to get here beating Wyoming (7th rated team in the league) and Utah State (8th rated team in the league). We were on the Lobos yesterday as they were in a great spot playing a Utah State team playing their 3rd straight game and their guards had logged big minutes. That was going to be a problem against NM’s press and we anticipated tired legs for USU and we were correct. This is a completely different situation. San Diego State is very good at not turning the ball over (2nd in the MWC) and they were able to spread their minutes out with 2 easy wins coming into this one. These are two of the better offenses in the league (2nd and 3rd in offensive efficiency) but SDSU has a huge edge defensively (4th in defensive efficiency to 11th for New Mexico). The Aztecs are peaking on the defensive end as well holding 6 of their last 7 opponents to less than 1.00 point per possession. On the other hand, New Mexico has allowed 7 of their last 9 opponents to score more than 1.00 point per possession and the two games they didn’t were both against Utah State. These two met once this year and SDSU was a 4 point favorite @ New Mexico so this line favors the Aztecs in our opinion. SDSU lost that road game by 4 giving them a little more motivation here. We like San Diego State to win & cover and move on to the NCAA tourney.
|03-09-18||Utah State v. New Mexico -3.5||68-83||Win||100||7 h 35 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON New Mexico -3.5 over Utah State, Friday at 11:30 PM ET
Tough spot and tough match up for Utah State in this game. The Aggies are playing their 3rd game in 3 days which included a come from behind win and upset of Boise yesterday. Their top 2 players McEwen and Merrill played 78 and 75 minutes respectively. They can’t afford to be gassed here as they are the two responsible for breaking New Mexico’s full court pressure. That’s where USU will have problems in this game. The Lobos force more turnovers than any other team in the MWC while Utah State turns the ball over almost 19% of the time which is 206th nationally. In their 2nd meeting this year, when New Mexico was healthy and at full strength, the Lobos won by 15 and USU turned the ball over on a whopping 33% of their possessions. The Aggies did win the first meeting 89-80 at home, however New Mexico, who is one of the deepest teams in the nation, was banged up and played only 6 players in the game. By comparison, when the Lobos are healthy, as they are now, they played an 8 or 9 man regular rotation. In yesterday’s 10 point win over Wyoming, the Lobos had 8 players play double digit minutes. New Mexico is fresh and they are easily the best shooting team in the MWC ranking #1 in eFG%, 2-point FG%, 3-point FG%, and FT%. They shouldn’t have any problem tonight vs a shaky USU defense (8th in the conference in defensive efficiency) that will be extra fatigued. Look for New Mexico’s pressure to really take control in the 2nd half and the Lobos to pull away.
|03-09-18||Oregon v. USC -2.5||Top||54-74||Win||100||7 h 34 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* USC -2.5 over Oregon, Friday at 11:30 PM ET
USC is playing very well as of late and they are in the much better spot here. The Trojans handled Oregon State relatively easily yesterday (13 point win) and were able to get their bearings in their first game in a new venue (T Mobile Arena in Vegas). They come into this game having won 5 of their last 6 with their only loss coming to arch rival UCLA. They have also proven they can get it done away from home going 10-6 this year in road/neutral site games (12-4 ATS in those games). They have beaten the Ducks twice already this year and they catch Oregon in a terrible situation. The Ducks will be playing their 3rd game in 3 nights and they weren’t able to “relax” in either of their first two games as they come from 11 down in the 2nd half to beat Washington State in OT on Wednesday and then again came from 11 down in the 2nd half to nip Utah 68-66 last night. Their top 4 players have played 76, 75, 68, and 69 minutes in those two games Those were two physically and emotionally taxing games in which Oregon was playing from behind for the vast majority of each. That could leave very little in the tank for the Ducks tonight. USC has the better offense (3rd most efficient in Pac 12 to Oregon’s 4th), the much better defense (2nd most efficient to 9th for Oregon), the outrebounded the Ducks in their two meetings (+8), and had fewer turnovers. Those advantages will only be magnified tonight by Oregon’s tired legs so we’ll lay this small number.
|03-09-18||West Virginia v. Texas Tech +2.5||66-63||Loss||-105||5 h 36 m||Show|
ASA PLAYON 8* Texas Tech +2.5 over West Virginia, Friday at 9:30 PM ET
We feel the wrong team is favored here and the value is absolutely on Texas Tech. At worst this should be a pick-em type game and we’re getting more than a bucket. The key to beating WVU is handling their press and keeping them off the offensive glass. In their two meetings Tech handled the pressure well with just 13 turnovers in each game and that includes their game @ WVU where the Raiders played without their top player Keenan Evans who is a key cog in breaking the press. Tech also played that second game in WVU without starting forward Justin Gray so they were down 2 starters in that 10 point loss. Tech is also 2nd in the Big 12 in defensive rebounding and did a decent job holding the Mountaineers in check on the boards. The Red Raider actually were +8 on the boards in the two meetings combined. Also Texas Tech should have a decent advantage at the FT line in this one. The are #1 in the Big 12 in FTA/FGA and over 22% of their points come from the line. WVU fouls more than any team in the conference and nearly 25% of opponents points come from the strip when playing the Mountaineers. They had 53 FT attempts in their two meetings combined and we don’t see that changing here. Our feeling on West Virginia is this, if you haven’t seen their press, it can be tough to deal with. However, this will be the 3rd time TT has faced them this year giving the Raiders the advantage in our opinion. Also getting points with the best defense in the Big 12 (Tech #1 in defensive efficiency) is a bonus. Take Tech and the points.
|03-09-18||St. Louis v. Davidson UNDER 125.5||60-78||Loss||-110||4 h 42 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 8* Under 125.5 Points - St Louis vs Davidson, Friday at 8:30 PM ET
These are two of the slowest paced teams in the nation (324th and 336th nationally in tempo) so we don’t look for many possessions here. If their lone meeting is an indication, they only too 93 total shots in their game that ended with Davidson winning 54-51. Both are very good defensively with Davidson ranking #3 in the A10 in defensive efficiency while St Louis ranks #4 in defensive efficiency and #1 in eFG% defense. Davidson can definitely shoot the ball well but this St Louis defense matches up well with the Wildcats as we saw in their meeting this year with the Billikens held them to 44% from the field. Also, Davidson relies on the 3 ball more than any other team in the A10 and this will be their first game of the tourney at Capital One Arena so it may take some time getting used to the backdrop in this big NBA arena. St Louis is a poor shooting team ranking 14th and dead last in the A10 in eFG% and made only 37% of their shots vs this Davidson defense earlier this season. Because the rely on the outside shot, Davidson rarely gets to the FT line (348th nationally in FTA/FGA). On the flip side, St Louis is a poor shooting team so they rely heavily on getting to the charity stripe (2nd nationally in FTA/FGA) however Davidson defenders rarely foul. This one has the makings of a grinder and we’ll grab the UNDER.
|03-09-18||Appalachian State v. Texas-Arlington -5.5||Top||68-84||Win||100||17 h 45 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* UT Arlington -5.5 over Appalachian State, Friday at 3:00 PM ET
We’ve used UTA a number of times this year with very solid success. They are a very talented team, possibly the most talented in the Sun Belt, that simply underachieved during the regular season. They won the Sun Belt title last year going 14-4 in league play and returned nearly all of the key contributors. They were the favorites to win the conference again this year yet disappointed with a 10-8 record. When motivated this team can be very good and they will be just that here. With 5 senior starters they are set to make a run toward the NCAA tourney after falling short of their goal last year losing to Texas State in the semifinals. The Mavs have hit their stride winning 6 of their last 8 games including a 12 point win over this App State team on February 1st. That was a game in which UTA lost one of their best players (Kaelon Wilson) to injury just 4 minutes into the game. He has since come back and played very well leading the Mavericks to 3 straight wins to close out the season. App State was 9-9 in Sun Belt play but did their damage against the bottom half of the league. Against the top 5 teams in the league (ULL, Georgia State, UTA, Georgia Southern, and Troy) the Mountaineers were just 2-5 with both wins coming at home. UTA, on the other hand, has beaten every team in the conference not name ULL at least once. We’re getting line value here with the underrated Mavs as they were favored by 10 at home vs App State and favored by 4.5 on the road. Arlington takes care of business here and gets the easy win.
|03-08-18||Akron v. Eastern Michigan -6||Top||58-67||Win||100||4 h 58 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Eastern Michigan -6 over Akron, Thursday at 9 PM ET
This is a great spot to play on EMU and fade the Zips of Akron. Eastern is rested, playing well while Akron is off a rare road upset win. The Zips have one really good player in Daniel Utomi who's averaging 16.8 points per game. Utomi poured in 26 points in their opening round upset win over WMU but will have a much tougher time here against an outstanding EMU defense. EMU has way more depth with three players scoring in double figures led by 3rd team All-MAC Elijah Minnie at 16.8 points per game on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor. 1st team All-MAC selection James Thompson IV follows with 15.3 points per game. Paul Jackson rounds out the double-digit scoring, averaging 14.9. In other words, Eastern can get it done from several different guys while Akron relies on one. The Eagles are 5th in the MAC in offensive efficiency ratings while Akron is 10th. On the defensive end of the floor the Eagles have a MASSIVE advantage over the Zips with the #1 ranked DEFF unit in the MAC allowing just .994 points per possession. On the flip side, Akron is 2nd to last in the MAC allowing 1.115PPP. Defensively, EMU limits opponents to 67.2 points a night on 40.7 percent shooting from the field and 35.1 percent from downtown. Akron is the 277th ranked total D in the nation, 301st in EFG% D allowing 54.2%. Eastern comes into this game having won 6 straight games and 9 of eleven. In their last five games the Eagles have some impressive numbers including: +10PPG scoring differential, shooting nearly 52% and allowing just 41.5%. Akron has just 2 road wins all season long with a negative scoring differential of -10.5PPG while shooting under 44% as a team and allowing nearly 50%. Akron knocked off EMU last year in the tourney so expect payback here. Eagles by 10+.
|03-08-18||Notre Dame v. Duke UNDER 143.5||Top||70-88||Loss||-105||2 h 59 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Under 143.5 Points - Notre Dame vs Duke, Thursday at 7:00 PM ET
If you haven’t noticed, Duke’s defense has been playing as well as any in the nation. This young team struggled with their defense early in the year but their zone has now stepped it up to a different level. They’ve gone UNDER the total in 6 straight games and in those games the Devil defense has allowed 53, 57, 56, 44, 64, and 64 points. Their most recent two performances in which they allowed 64 points each, although higher than their other games during this stretch, were probably their most impressive. That’s because of their opponents who are very efficient offensive teams, Virginia Tech & UNC. Tech ranks 2nd in the ACC in eFG% and averages 80 PPG. The Tar Heels #1 in the ACC in offensive efficiency and average 83 PPG. Both were held way below their average by this red hot Duke defense. Now they take on a tired ND team playing their 3rd game in 3 days. They shot 34% and 37% against two of the worst defenses in the ACC in their first two games in this tourney. Don’t expect them to get well vs this Duke defense. The Irish have had two lower scoring affairs getting by a bad Pitt team on Tuesday 67-64 and then coming from 21 points down with under 15:00 minutes to go to beat Va Tech 71-65. We expect the Irish shooting legs to be a bit weary in this one. Their defense, which has been solid allowing 68 PPG on the season, will have to keep them in it and you can guarantee they want this to be a slow paced game to have a chance to win. ND is one of the slower teams in the nation (320th in tempo) and the slower team usually gets the pace they want. Duke’s offensive scoring has slowed as their defense has improved. The once higher scoring Devils have topped 80 points only once in their last 9 games. This one stays UNDER the total.
|03-08-18||UNLV v. Nevada -4.5||Top||74-79||Win||100||2 h 5 m||Show|
ASA PLAY ON 10* Nevada -4.5 over UNLV, Thursday at 3:00 PM ET
We think Nevada is in a great spot in their MWC opener today. We get by far the best team in the league coming off a loss @ San Diego State to end the season. It was just their 6th loss of the season and they have fared quite well coming off a setback. They did lost back to back games in early December vs Big 12 powers TCU and Texas Tech (one in OT and the other by 4 points) but beyond that, after their losses the Wolfpack bounced back for wins by margins of 25, 15, 15, and 10 points. Before losing to a red hot San Diego State team to close out the regular season, this Nevada team played UNLV right here at the Thomas & Mack Center. That was just one week ago. The final score of that one was Nevada 101-75 and the Wolfpack led by as many as 33 points in the 2nd half of that game. While one might say that UNLV will be more than ready here after that beat down just 8 days ago, we don’t think they are playing well enough or have the horses to keep this one tight. Plus their home court advantage has been anything but an advantage this year as the Rebels lost 5 home games in conference play alone. The Rebels held on for dear life yesterday beating 9th place Air Force in overtime. All 5 starters played 31+ minutes in that game just 24 hours ago and they basically played a 6 man rotation with only one other player getting to double digit minutes. Vegas hit over 49% of their shots in that game and were +13 points at the FT line yet still had to hold on in overtime vs a lower tier MWC team. Coming into that game, UNLV had lost 5 straight to close out the regular season with 4 of those coming by double digits. They looked like a tired team to us and yesterday’s situation won’t help. Nevada is rested and has all the motivation in the world to win this tourney. They are a great shooting team ranking 8th nationally in offensive efficiency and 12th in 3 point percentage. They face a UNLV defense that has been below average this year ranking 9th in the MWC in defensive efficiency and 9th in 3 point defense. Air Force hit 13 of 27 from deep yesterday and the Falcons came in ranking 295th nationally in 3 point shooting so that does not bode well for this Rebel defense this afternoon. Nevada averaged 90 PPG in their 2 meetings with UNLV this year and we expect them to roll up a big win here.