Dropped both plays Sunday to fall to 24-23 on the season. UCF was a flat-out bad play, while Santa Clara drilled us by going 7 for 9 in 3-point attempts in the first half. They were just 4 for 11 in the second half, as the game stayed under the full-game total. More plays than usual, as the numbers are coming up with some overs.
Florida State at Louisville: Decent game here, as Louisville is favored by 1 with a total of 66 for the first half. I have FSU leading 35-32 at the break.
Kansas at Baylor: Baylor is favored by 5 with a first-half total of 66.5 and I have the Bears leading 41-34, so will take the over in this one. Both teams score more than their opponents allow for the season and hold their foes to fewer points, but the plus scoring margin is greater for both teams. Baylor actually plays at a faster pace than Kansas, which was a bit of a surprise.
St. John’s at UConn: The Huskies are favored by 4 with a first-half total of 66.5 and I have UConn leading 41-34 in this one, so will take the over in this one, as well. St. John’s sees 7.7 more first-half points than their foes, while the Huskies see .2 fewer points.
St. Joes at LaSalle: LaSalle is favored by 1 with a total of 68.5 and I have St. Joes leading 34-33. St. Joes has some ugly numbers, but against much tougher competition.
Wilmington at Towson: Wilmington is favored by 1 with a total of 68 and I have Wilmington leading 39-32. Wilmington takes a bit of a drop away from home, so just going to stay away from this one.
West Carolina at Samford: West Carolina is favored by 1 with a total of 77, while I have Samford leading 50-41 in a high-scoring half. Both teams score more than foes allow, while allowing more than their foes average, so will take the over 77 even though it’s a high number.
Wyoming at Air Force: Air Force won yesterday and now Wyoming is favored by 1.5 with a total of 64 and I have this one 37-33 for Air Force. We’ve seen teams playing with revenge bounce back the following day, so want no part of Air Force, but will take the over. It was at 64 at the half on Sunday, with Wyoming leading 36-28.
Sacramento State at Idaho State: This one is even with a total of 58 and I have Idaho State leading 33-27, but another case of not being anxious to go against the Hornets, who lost in overtime yesterday. Idaho State led 30-23 at the break.
We split the two college plays on Saturday to drop to 24-21 on the season. A bit of a smaller slate than we’ve seen on Sundays, so we’ll see what we can come up with.
Memphis at Tulsa: Memphis is -1 and the first-half total is 60.5, while I have Tulsa leading 34-31. Memphis is getting some serious full-game action, moving from a 1.5-point underdog to a 2-point favorite despite getting just 42% of the wagers.
Western Kentucky at Marshall: Decent game here, where Marshall is favored by 1.5 with a total of 71.5 and I have Western Kentucky leading 37-35. Western Kentucky is getting a little full-game action, but not quite enough of a difference between the line and our projection to make a play.
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest: Virginia Tech is favored by 4 and the numbers have Wake Forest leading by 2, but another case where Virginia Tech is getting some full-game action, opening as 7-point favorites and holding there despite Wake getting more than 70% of the wagers.
Santa Clara at San Diego: Santa Clara opened -2 and the line is starting to drop to 1.5 at a lot of shops, while the total is 65. I have San Diego leading 28-25, so going to take a shot on the under in this one. Both teams play at a decent pace, but neither is that good offensively.
UCF at Houston: Houston is favored by 8 with a first-half total of 60 and I have the Cougars leading 28-25 in this one. The over is getting a little action in the full-game betting, but will take UCF +8 in this one. The teams played earlier this year and it was 25-25 at the half before Houston pulled away a little in the second half. Houston has Tulsa on deck and the Hurricanes are the only team Houston has lost to this season, so not the greatest of spots for the Cougars.
Dayton at George Washington: Dayton is favored by 4.5 with a total of 65 and I have the Flyers leading 34-32 at the break. The same two play again on Wednesday.
Northern Iowa at Loyola-Chicago: Loyola is favored by 6 with a total of 65.5 in this one and I have the Ramblers leading 33-29. Northern Iowa led 29-28 when the teams played yesterday, but Loyola blew them out in the second half, allowing just eight points in the final 10 minutes.
Dropped last night’s game to fall to 23-20 on the season and will take a quick look at nine games for Saturday. We’re not really looking at the main games today, although most of them will be broadcast on ESPN Plus or another network.
Kent State at Ohio: Ohio is favored by 2 with a first-half total of 71.5 and I have Kent leading 39-37 at halftime. Both teams are decent offensively, but Kent can play defense a little bit, so will stay away.
Arizona State at Oregon State: The Sun Devils are favored by 3 with a total of 69.5 in the first half of this one and I have ASU leading by a score of 40-32 at the break. The Sun Devils have dropped their last three games, all of which were at home.
Loyola Marymount at Pacific: Pacific is -.5 in the first half and the total is 61.5, while I have this one 36-31 for the home team. Pacific has only played five games so far and are one of the slowest teams around in terms of pace.
Davidson at LaSalle: Davidson is favored by 4.5 with a total of 62.5 and I have Davidson leading 30-28 at the break. Davidson is another methodical team, but they’re decent offensively, while LaSalle is better defensively than on offense.
Wofford at Chattanooga: Wofford is favored by 1 with a first-half total of 66.5 and I have Wofford leading 41-29. Wofford is a little better offensively and defensively, although they’re pretty brutal from the charity stripe.
Old Dominion at Rice: Old Dominion is -1.5 with a total of 67.5 and I have this one 36-36 at the break. These two teams played last night and it was 42-29 in favor of Rice at halftime.
Coastal Carolina at Georgia State: Georgia State is 3.5 with a total of 72.5 and I have Coastal leading 47-41 at the half, so will take the over in this one. Both teams play at a decent pace and are better offensively than defensively.
George Mason at Rhode Island: Rhode Island is favored by 4 with a total of 64 and I have the Rams with a 36-28 halftime lead.
Louisiana at Texas-Arlington: Arlington is favored by 1.5 and I have Louisiana leading 41-36 in a quick revenge spot for the visitors, who lost last night 91-86 after an 11 for 21 night at the free throw line. Arlington was 24 for 28 and that was the difference.
A couple of close ones fell our direction on Thursday, moving us to 23-19 on the season. A lot of games for Friday, but most of the ones I looked at were pretty close to our projections, so it will just be one play for today.
Marshall at Western Kentucky: Western Kentucky is favored by 2 with a total of 71.5, while I have the Hilltoppers leading 37-32. The stats are pretty much even between the two, while Western Kentucky gets the edge for strength of schedule.
UAB at Charlotte: UAB is favored by .5 and the total is 60, while I have Charlotte leading 31-28 at the half. UAB has a massive stats edge, while Charlotte has played a much-tougher schedule, which is why the numbers have them in front at the break.
Texas State at Little Rock: Little Rock is favored by 3 with a total of 62.5, while I have Little Rock leading 34-27. Little Rock gets small edges in scoring margin and strength of schedule.
UTEP at North Texas: North Texas is favored by 3 and the total is 62.5, while I have North Texas leading 38-31. The full-game total just started moving downward, so will stay clear of this one.
Youngstown at Oakland: Oakland is favored by .5 and the first-half total is 70.5, while I have it 38-38. The full game total here is dropping pretty steady, having moved 2.5 points, so going to sit this one out. Both teams are horrible defensively, but not the greatest of offensive teams.
Robert Morris at Ill-Chicago: Somebody must be out for Robert Morris in this one, as Robert Morris opened a slight favorite, but not all books had the game. Now the home team is favored by 1.5 with a total of 67. I have Robert Morris leading 40-36, but no interest in playing this one due to the uncertainty.
Utah Valley at Seattle: Seattle is 1.5 with a total of 66.5 and I have Seattle leading 35-33 in a battle of pretty bad teams.
Green Bay at Detroit: Detroit is 1.5 with a total of 69.5 and I have Detroit leading 37-33 at the break.
Quinnipac at Monmouth: Monmouth is favored by 5 in the first half in a game where Quinnipac is getting a little bit of action. I have Monmouth leading 43-28 at halftime, so will take a shot on the home favorite in this one. Monmouth gets the scoring edge and has played a tougher slate. Quinnipac has played good defense, but think that’s more of matter of who their opponents have been.
A bit of a smaller slate than we’ve seen the last few days, but a couple of decent games on tap. We’ll look at a couple of the bigger games, but our plays will be coming in the smaller-school contests. We moved to 21-19 on Wednesday, sneaking in there under the total by 1.5 points in the LaSalle game. These are the games with some of the bigger differences between the first-half line and the projected score.
San Diego State at Utah State: Utah State is favored by .5 and the total here is 61, while I have San Diego State leading 34-30. From a stats standpoint the teams are pretty even, but a solid strength of schedule edge to the Aztecs has them projected to lead.
BYU at St. Mary’s: Another solid game, this one is even with a total of 62, while I have BYU leading 35-30. The Cougars get a slight edge in stats and also in strength of schedule. Both teams are coming off losses.
Santa Clara at Pacific: Santa Clara is favored by 1.5 with a total of 61, while I have Pacific leading 33-27. Pacific has just played four games and one of those was against Westwood, so not a whole lot to go off of for the Tigers.
Southern Utah at Eastern Washington: My Eagles are favored by 3 with a total of 71.5 and I have Eastern leading 50-29, so going to take Eastern Washington in this one. The fact that a 2-4 team is favored over a 9-1 team is a bit telling here. The Eagles get a huge strength of schedule edge here, as Pomerot has EWU playing the No. 12 schedule and Southern Utah No. 332. EWU has only played six games, but have faced Arizona, Oregon and St. Mary’s among their foes.
Florida Atlantic at Florida International: Florida International is favored by 3 with a first half total of 67 and I have Florida Atlantic lead by a 39-32 score, so will take FAU +3 for our second play of the day. FAU has been a big first-half team so far this season, owning an overall scoring advantage of +10.1 even though they’re 5-6 overall. They’re +.1 in the first half of road games even though they’re just 2-6 straight-up away from home.
Morehead State at Eastern Illinois: Eastern Illinois is favored by 3 with a total of 62.5, while I have Morehead leading 34-31. Morehead turns the ball over a little too much at times. The teams have pretty comparable scores against some common foes this season.
We split our two games last night and had another postponed. The loss on Kent was a tough one, as Central Michigan scored the final seven points of the half to hand us a half-point loss. We just got enough scoring in the Ohio game to go over by 1.5 points, which is the way first-half betting seems to work, as we’re 20-19 on the season.
Tulsa at Wichita State: Wichita is favored by 2 with a first-half total of 62, while I have the Shockers leading 36-29 at the break. Wichita State did win earlier this year in Tulsa after jumping out to a 43-29 halftime lead and holding on for the 69-65 victory.
Rhode Island at Massachusetts: Rhode Island is 1.5 with a total of 71, while I have the Rams leading 36-34 at halftime, so we’re within a point on both the side and total projections.
Duquesne at Dayton: Dayton is favored by 3.5 with a total of 62.5 and I have the Flyers leading 31-26 at the break. Duquesene has been a different team on the road, scoring and allowing 35 points, compared to scoring 31.7 and allowing 30.5 overall, so will most likely stay clear of the total in this one.
Mercer at Tennessee-Chattnooga: Mercer is favored by .5 with a total of 70.5, while I have Mercer leading by a score of 38-37. Mercer does go uptempo, while Chattanooga is more conventional in terms of pace.
LaSalle at George Mason: George Mason is favored by 2.5 with a total of 63.5 and I have LaSalle leading 30-28, so will take a shot on the under in this one. LaSalle is averaging 25.9 points in the first half of their road games, while George Mason scored fewer than 30 in the first half at home and in conference games, so points should be at a premium here.
Wofford at VMI: Wofford is 3with a total of 68 and I have Wofford leading 42-33 at the break. The Terriers live and die with the 3-pointer, as 57% of their shots from the floor are 3s and VMI is fair at defending the 3-pointer, so will stay clear of this one.
Boise at Wyoming: A rematch of Monday, Boise State is 5.5 with a total of 69 and I have the Broncos leading 42-35. Boise dominated on the offensive glass last game and not so sure they’ll have quite the same success.
Not the best of slates for Tuesday, so we’ll look and see what we can come up with for today. We’ll stick to the smaller games, but look at a few of the bigger ones for those interested.
Kent at Central Michigan: Kent State is favored by 3.5 with a total of 72.5, while I have the Golden Flashes leading 41-31 at the break. Kent has moved from 5.5 to 7 in the full-game betting, even though the betting is pretty much split, so will take a shot on the road favorite in this one.
Miami, Ohio at Ohio: Ohio is 5.5 with a first-half total of 65.5, while I have this one 39-32 for Ohio at the break. Neither teams has shown any drop-off in conference scoring, so will take the over in this one.
Eastern Illinois at SIU-Edwardsville: Eastern Illinois is favored by 4 and the total 66, while I have Edwardsville leading 34-29 at halftime, so going to take a shot on Edwardsville +4.
Eastern Michigan at Toledo: Toledo is favored by 6 with a total of 66.5 and I have Eastern leading 37-36, but EMU takes a huge drop in numbers in conference play, which will be enough to just keep me away from this one.
St. Joes at Davidson: Davidson is favored by 7 in the first half of this one with a total of 68, while I have Davidson leading 39-34 at the break. St. Joes has just one win this season, while playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, so they get a huge edge in AOPR, which is why this one is relatively close as far as the projection goes.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt: Tennessee is favored by 6.5 in the first half of this one to go with a total of 64.5 and I have the Vols leading 37-26 at the break. Tennessee has only played two road games this season, but they’ve started fast in both, leading Missouri 23-6 and grabbing a 20-11 advantage against Texas A & M. Vanderbilt has lost three times at home already this year.
TCU at Oklahoma: The Sooners are 4 with a total of 65.5 and I have Oklahoma leading 39-34 at the break, but the pace of the game gives me a few concerns to play the over.
Got back to .500 here yesterday, but did expect to be a little better than 18-18 on the season at this point. Starting 2-5 didn’t help, but can only march forward and see what happens. A small slate of games with the college football game taking place tonight, so will do what we can.
Temple at SMU: A bit of an early start in this one, where SMU is favored by 6.5 in the first half and the total is 66.5. I have this one 33-33, although Temple has only played three games this year, one of which was a home loss to these same Mustangs. SMU jumped out in front 21-14 in the first 10 minutes and Temple cut the lead to 5 at the half, as SMU won 79-71. The Mustangs shot better than 50% from the field, while Temple was just 25 of 68. Temple hasn’t shot the ball well this year, but think they can keep within the generous numbers here and will take the Owls.
Colorado at Utah: Colorado is 1.5 with a total of 64 in the first half and I have the Buffaloes leading 36-32 at the break. Utah has played four teams in Ken Pomeroy’s top 100 and lost all four, while their four wins have been against teams ranked 141 or lower. Colorado is ranked No. 20.
Uconn at DePaul: The Huskies are favored by 2.5 and I have them leading by 4, so not a whole lot of value in this one. DePaul has played just four games this season, making it tough to get a decent read on the team.
Loyola at Indiana State: Loyola is 3.5 with a total of 65, while I have Loyola leading 30-29 at the break. This is a quick rematch of yesterday’s game where Loyola led 35-27 at the half, but fell apart in the second half and lost the game.
Bradley at Northern Iowa: Another quick rematch here, Northern Iowa is favored by .5 with a total of 65 and I have Bradley leading 34-31. The game was tied at 36 at the half Sunday and Northern Iowa went on to take the win.
Boise State at Wyoming: Boise is 4.5 with a total of 70 in this one and I have the Broncos leading 40-35 at the half. Boise is a solid offensive team, while the Cowboys aren’t particularly strong on defense. Boise will be the toughest team Wyoming has faced this season.
Dropped both plays on Saturday to fall a game under .500, the first time we’ve been below the 50-50 mark since the early season 2-5 start. Have gotten away from the one area where we’ve enjoyed most of our success the past few seasons, which is the smaller conferences, so will get back to focusing on them.
San Francisco at Loyola Marymount: San Francisco is favored by 1.5 and the total for the first half is 65, while I have Loyola leading 34-33 at the break.
Bradley at Northern Iowa: Northern Iowa is favored by .5 with a total of 65.5 and I have Bradley leading 33-32 in this one, so nothing here.
Missouri State at Valparaiso: Missouri State is 1.5 with a first-half total of 68 and I made this one 33-33 at halftime.
Loyola Chicago at Indiana State: Loyola is favored by 4 with a total of 64.5 and I made this one 29-29 at the break. Loyola is one of the best-shooting teams in college basketball, hitting 59% of its 2-pointers and nearly 39% of the team’s 3s. They’re not bad defensively, while Indiana State is a little bit lacking defensively at times, so no rush to play this one.
Illinois State at Evansville: Evansville is favored by 3 with a total of 60.5 and I have Illinois State leading 36-25, so will take the road dog in this one. Evansville won yesterday’s game by 9 in a game that saw Illinois State make eight more turnovers and go 6 for 15 from the foul line. Illinois State did lead at the half, so will give them a shot to keep things close in the first 20 minutes of this one.
Marist at Monmouth: Monmouth is favored by 5 with a total of 67 and I have Monmouth leading by a score of 43-29. Monmouth led by five at halftime of yesterday’s game and went on to win 80-64. Marist hit 60.9% of its shots from 2-point range but were just 3 of 10 from the foul line and Monmouth was 18 of 23, which basically was the difference in the game.
San Jose at Fresno State: Fresno is -7.5 in the first half of this one with a total of 70.5 and I have Fresno leading 39-35 at the break. San Jose has played a tougher schedule, but that’s about all you can say for the Spartans.
Siena at Fairfield: Siena is 5.5 with a total of 60.5 and I have them leading 37-27 in an ugly one. Siena led 40-27 at halftime of yesterday’s game.
Huge slate of college basketball games for Saturday, so we’ll look at most of the big games on the slate. Fell to 17-16 on the season after Purdue didn’t show up in the first half in what ended up being a decent game, although you wouldn’t have known that after watching the first 20 minutes.
Texas at West Virginia: West Virginia is favored by 1 and I have Texas leading 35-31, which is one point below the first-half total of 67. A little hesitant to take Texas here, as the Mountaineers are getting some strong action in the full-game wager, having moved from +1 to -2 despite getting 44% of the wagers.
Ohio State at Rutgers: Rutgers is favored by 2 in the first half with a total of 66.5 and I have the Scarlet Knights leading 38-29, so will take a shot on Rutgers in this one.
UCLA at Arizona: The Wildcats are -2 with a first-half total of 65, while I have Arizona leading 35-34 at the break. Arizona has the better stats, but the Bruins do get some credit for having played a tougher slate.
USC at Arizona State: USC is favored by 1 with a first-half total of 70.5 and I have the Trojans leading 39-38 at the break. Would like to take the over here, but the Sun Devils could be a little short-handed in this one, with a couple of players questionable, including Remy Martin.
Oregon at Utah: The Ducks are -.5 with a first-half total of 64.5 and I have Oregon leading 35-33 at the break. The Utes are undefeated at home, while both of Oregon’s losses came away from home.
Alabama at Auburn: Alabama is favored by 3 with a total of 70, while I have the Tide leading 39-36 at the break. Both teams shoot a lot of 3s, but both are somewhat decent at defending it.
Kentucky at Florida: The Gators are 2.5 with a total of 66.5 and I have Florida leading 38-33 in this one. Florida’s 3-point defense is lacking a little, but Kentucky only shoots 30.1% from long range.
Oklahoma at Kansas: Kansas is favored by 3.5 with a total of 68.5 and I have the Jayhawks leading 44-36, so will take the over in this one. The Sooners’ 3-point defense is terrible and Kansas can knock down the outside shot, so think this one has a fair shot at sneaking over the number.
We split our two basketball plays on Thursday, sneaking in there on the college game and losing the NBA play. We’re now 17-15 in college hoops plays and have some what of an ugly schedule. The majority of our projections are fairly close to the lines, so just one play today.
Dayton at Davidson: Davidson is favored by 3.5 in the first half with a total of 60.5 and I have Davidson leading by a 32-27 score. Davidson has dropped two of its last three home games, while Dayton is just 1-1 in true road games this season, so not a whole lot to go on here.
Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky: Western Kentucky is 3.5 in the first half with a total of 67 and I have Western Kentucky leading 37-32. The Hilltoppers have played a tougher schedule and both teams are 8-3 straight-up on the season. This is another back-to-back, with the same two teams meeting here tomorrow.
Rider at Niagara: Niagara is favored by 3.5 with a total of 64.5 and I have this one 36-28 for the home team at the half. Rider is a little better offensively, while Niagara is the better of the two on defense. Niagara has only played two home games this season.
Purdue at Michigan State: The best game of the night sees Michigan State favored by 2.5 with a total of 67.5, while I have Purdue leading 37-34 at the break. The Boilermakers are just 2-5 straight-up on the road this year, but have played tough, having a first-scoring margin of -.5 and are -1.6 in conference play. The Spartans are -4 for a first-half scoring margin in conference games. Both defenses are solid and Purdue shoots slightly better from the field and 3-point range. Going to take a shot on Purdue +2.5 in the first half of this one.
Northern Kentucky at Cleveland State: Cleveland State is favored by 1 and I have the Vikings leading 38-30 at the break. There’s been a little bit of reverse movement against Cleveland State on the full-game line, so a little hesitant to take the Vikings in this one, even though Cleveland State is 6-0 in conference play. Northern Kentucky is 0-3 on the road this season.
Ohio at Toledo: Ohio is getting bet pretty good for the full game and the first half line here is Toledo -2 with a total of 69.5. I have the Rockets leading 39-35 in this one. Jason Preston is questionable for Ohio and would be a huge loss for the Bobcats.
Another split in college hoops Wednesday, as we’re still spinning our wheels with a 16-15 record. Need to get this out early today, so just have overnight spreads and no totals, but will list everything for those who are interested in making other plays.
Iowa at Maryland: Iowa is favored by 3 in the first half and I have them leading by a 38-37 score. The Hawkeyes are seeing about 6.5 fewer points in their conference games than their overall scoring, so the totals projection is a little high in that regard. Maryland is much better at home but have had a rough start to conference games, going just 1-4 straight-up.
Oregon at Colorado: Colorado is down to -1 for the first half and I have the Buffs leading 40-32, so will take Colorado in this one. Oregon’s first-half scoring margin goes down a little in conference games, while Colorado is pretty comparable. The Ducks have had just three true road games and this is the third home game of the season for Colorado. Oregon has been more of a second-half team this season.
USC at Arizona: Arizona is just 1.5 in this one for the first half, which may seem a bit low, although I have the Trojans with a 36-35 advantage due to the difference in schedules. Numbers-wise, there isn’t a huge difference between the teams, but USC has played a more difficult slate of games so far.
Illinois at Northwestern: Illinois is favored by 4 in the first half of this one and I have them leading 42-32 at the break. The Illini have a slight edge in numbers but a huge difference in strength of schedule. But Northwestern is a much better home team, having already knocked off the likes of Michigan State and Ohio State, so one that’s probably better suited to watching than betting.
UCLA at ASU: This one is even for the first half on the overnight line and I have the Sun Devils leading 39-37. Arizona State is just 1-2 at home this year, while the Bruins are 1-2 on the road. First-half stats and strength of schedule numbers are pretty even in this one.
Indiana at Wisconsin: The Badgers are favored by 4 in the first half and I have them leading by a 30-23 score. Both teams see their first half stats take a bit of a hit if looking at just conference games and with a few players questionable in this one, it’s another that may be best to stay away from.
A split last night with the two plays to drop to 15-14 on the season with the college hoops plays, so hopefully can get pick it up a little bit here. Decent-sized slate of games on the schedule today, although a few have been postponed.
Minnesota at Michigan: The Wolverines are favored by 4.5 in the first half with a total of 72, while I have Michigan leading by a score of 38-37, so not much margin for error here.
Seton Hall at Creighton: Creighton is favored by 3 with a total of 70.5 in the first half of this one, while I have Creighton leading by a 39-34 advantage at the break. The Pirates do have a better first-half scoring margin in conference games than they do overall, making this one a tough game to call.
Virginia Tech at Louisville: Louisville is favored by 2 with a total of 61.5 and I have Louisville leading by a 32-27 score. Last year’s two games saw halftime score of 27-27 and 31-26 for Louisville, so they have had a tendency to play low-scoring games. Still, the total is a little lower than you’d like for a play.
Arkansas at Tennessee: The Vols are favored by 4.5 with a total of 67 for the first half, while I have Tennessee leading by a 40-28 score. Both teams are coming off their first loss of the season. The Vols have played a tougher schedule so far and will take a shot on the home team in this one.
Rhode Island at Richmond: Richmond is favored by 2 with a total of 68.5 and I have Richmond leading by a score of 35-32. The Spiders are just 2-2 at home of the season.
Oklahoma at Baylor: Baylor is favored by 7 in the first half with a total of 72, while I have the Bears leading 44-34. The halftime score hasn’t exceeded 61 points in the last four meetings between the two teams, so a little reluctant to take over 72 in this one. Both teams can score, but they’re also pretty decent defensive teams.
Pitt at Syracuse: Syracuse is favored by 7 in the first half with a total of 65.5, while I have Syracuse leading 38-35 at the break. Both teams hold the opposition to less than 40% shooting from the field, so will just skip the total in this one.
Boston College at Duke: Duke is favored by 7 with a total of 71, while I have the Blue Devils leading 40-36. Going to take a shot on the over in this one, as BC shoots a lot of 3s and that’s the one area Duke doesn’t defend all that well.
Decent slate of games on the schedule for Tuesday, so we’ll see what we can come up with.
Florida at Alabama: The Tide is favored by 1.5 in the first half of this one and I have Florida with a 38-37 lead at the break, so nothing really brewing in this one.
Rutgers at Michigan State: The Spartans are favored by .5 in the first half of this one and the total is 71, while I have Rutgers leading 40-33 at the break. MSU won the last two meetings, so this one is the Scarlet Knights should be ready for, but always tough to go into East Lansing and get a lot accomplished.
UConn at Marquette: UConn is now favored by .5 in the first half with a total of 65.5, while I have Marquette leading 38-34. This is another one of those games where I’m a little hesitant to play the total, as both teams have seen a little less scoring in the few conference games they’ve played and Uconn ran up the score against Central Conn., which has distorted its scoring average a bit.
North Carolina at Miami: North Carolina is favored by 1 with a total of 66 and I have the Tar Heels leading 33-31. UNC has played a much tougher slate, but the ‘Canes have better numbers to keep the projection close.
Kansas at TCU: Kansas has climbed to 3.5 in this one, as the Jayhawks are a popular full-game wager, while the total is 65. I have Kansas leading 40-35 at the break in this one and while the teams don’t play at the pace I’d like for an over wagers, will go ahead and take a stab on the over due to the difference between the projection and the total.
NC State at Clemson: The Tigers are favored by 2.5 with a first-half total of 63.5 and I have Clemson leading 35-26, so taking a shot on Clemson in this one. The Tigers have played a tougher schedule and the Wolfpack struggled in their lone true road game of the year, losing to St. Louis.
Missouri at Mississippi State: The Tigers are now favored by 1.5 in this one with a total of 65 and I have Missouri leading by a score of 32-30. Mississippi State has won the last three meetings between the two teams.
We fell to 13-13 on the season Sunday, losing the SMU total by a point, which is going to happen frequently with first-half bets. A somewhat small slate of games for Monday, with just a couple of solid games. We’ll take a look at a few of the games now, even though only one place has released first-half lines.
West Virginia at Oklahoma State: Probably the best game of the night, as West Virginia is favored by 1 on the full-game line after opening 1.5 and getting the majority of the wagers. Several other outlets still have the Mountaineers -1.5, so you can expect to see West Virginia -.5 for the first half. I have this one 34-34 at the break, so no real advantage in this one, where the total opened 64.5
Maryland at Indiana: Another decent game, where the first number that came out has the Hoosiers -2.5 in the first half, which is just about right, as the full-game line moved from Indiana -5.5 to Hoosiers -4.5 even though Indiana is getting the bulk of the wager in the morning hours. I have Indiana leading 33-28 at the break in this one. Maryland has started extremely slow in its three road games, although they faced Clemson, Purdue and Wisconsin. The total here is 64.5.
Colorado State at San Diego State: The Aztecs are -4 in the first half of this one, with a total of 63.5 and I have them leading by a score of 34-25. San Diego State has played a tougher schedule so far, but Colorado State got the win on Saturday after falling behind by nine at the half. With the revenge factor for SD State, they may be the right side in this one.
Stanford at Oregon State: We’re seeing Stanford -3.5 in the first half of this one and I have the Cardinals leading by a 33-25 score. Stanford has played a much tougher schedule than the Beavers, but could suffer a bit of a letdown coming off the game against Oregon in which they wilted down the stretch.
Wyoming at Fresno State: The Bulldogs lost to Wyoming as 2-point favorites on Saturday and get another crack at Wyoming in this one, where they’re favored by 1 in the first half with a total of 67.5. Fresno was solid from the field last game at 49.1%, but suffered from 3-point range and at the foul line, which have been their problems all year. I have Fresno with a massive strength of schedule advantage and leading 44-26, so will take a shot on Fresno in a quick revenge situation.
Pretty small slate of college basketball games for Sunday and a few don’t have first-half lines, so we’ll make due with the games that we do have on the slate. As is often the case, there are some days with a few games where you have a lot of plays and others with large schedules where you’re scrounging to find a game or two.
Ohio State at Minnesota: The Buckeyes are favored by .5 points in the first half and the total is 70, while I have Minnesota leading by a 37-31 score. Ohio State has been a better second-half team so far this season, which is the primary reason I have the Gophers leading. The Buckeyes have a scoring margin of +2.9 in the first half and +9.9 in the second half, while the Gophers are +5.6 in the first half and +.8 in the second half. Both teams are 2-2 in conference play, so will take a stab on Minnesota in this one.
Houston at SMU: Houston is favored by 1.5 with a first-half total of 64 and I have Houston leading 32-25 at the break here, so the numbers like the under, although SMU has been playing at a pretty brisk pace. Still, the under looks like the way to go if you’re going to play the total, as Houston plays at a really slow pace and SMU had a couple of fast-paced games against weak teams, which isn’t the case here, so will take the under 64 in this one.
Northwestern at Michigan: The Wolverines are favored by 4.5 with a total of 68.5 in this one and I have Northwestern leading 41-35, so will take the Wildcats plus the points in this one. The Wolverines clocked Northwestern both games last year, so definitely one the Wildcats have been looking forward to.
Northern Iowa at Evansville: There’s no lines out on this one, as the two teams played each other Saturday and Evansville pulled off the upset, so I’d give a look to Northern Iowa in this one. I have NIU leading 39-26 and they were -3.5 in the first half on Saturday.
Southern Illinois at Drake: Drake is favored by 6 in the first half and I have Drake leading 32-31. Drake has gotten me once this year, but they may be a little overvalued in this one.
A big slate of games for Saturday and we’ll look at many of the bigger games on the slate, as we dropped to 10-11 on the season. We typically do better in the smaller games on the schedule, but so far this season we’re probably doing a little better with the bigger games, due to schedules played, and some of the teams only having a few games in the books due to COVID.
Iowa at Rutgers: Iowa is favored by 1.5 with a total of 75.5 in the first half and I have Rutgers leading 41-37, so going to take a shot on the Scarlet Knights +1.5 in this one.
Texas at Kansas: Kansas is favored by 2 with a first-half total of 64.5 and I have Kansas leading 36-35 at the break. Both teams are down the list on Pomeroy’s adjusted pace ratings, so will skip the total, as points can be a little misleading on certain teams with one or two high-scoring or low-scoring games taking a toll on the overall numbers.
West Virginia at Oklahoma: Oklahoma is favored by 1 with a total of 68 and I have West Virginia leading 41-35. Much like the game above, will stay away from the total here. West Virginia has played a much-tougher slate so far, which is why they’re predicted to be in front.
LSU at Florida: Florida is favored by 1 with a total of 72.5 and I have the Gators leading 41-36. Tough to play Florida in this one and Johnson’s loss will be felt a lot more in competitive games than it was against Vanderbilt.
Colorado at UCLA: The Bruins are -1 with a total of 64.5 and I have Colorado leading 37-35. These two are No. 270 and No. 345 in adjusted pace ratings, which will keep me off of the total.
Creighton at Providence: Creighton is favored by 2 with a total of 69, while I have Creighton leading by a score of 38-35. Providence is No. 322 in adjusted pace ratings, while Creighton plays a little bit of a faster pace.
Stanford at Oregon: The Ducks are favored by 3 with a total of 66.5 and I have Stanford leading 32-30. The Cardinal have played a tougher slate than the Ducks, with four games against teams in Pomeroy’s top 50. The Ducks have played two teams in the top 50, splitting those two games, as did Stanford in their four. Will take Stanford +3 in the first half here.
We split our two college basketball plays on Thursday and are just 10-10 on the season so far, and a pretty tough slate for Friday. A few teams without much in the way of games played and a few teams who have run up some scores against pretty weak competition, while taking some lumps against average teams.
Marshall at La Tech: La Tech is favored by .5 in the first half and the total is 71.5 and I have Louisiana leading by a score of 37-36, so not much in the way of an edge either with the side or the total.
Georgia State at Coastal Carolina: Georgia State is favored by 2 with a total of 75 for the first half and I have Georgia State leading by a 51-43 score. Georgia State has scored over 100 points against the likes of Toccoa Falls and Carver, as well as their 123-120 win over Georgia Tech in four overtimes, so you have to take their offensive output to be a bit distorted. Coastal Carolina has done the same to an extent, scoring 100 or more points three times against Columbia International and Alice Lloyd. Even though the numbers are on the over pretty strong, will wait until each team has a few more games against better competition.
Old Dominion at Florida International: FIU is favored by .5 with a total of 71 and I have Old Dom leading 36-35, so we’re right on the number in both the side and the total.
Western Kentucky at Charlotte: Western Kentucky is favored by 3 with a first-half total of 63.5, while I have the Hilltoppers leading by a 35-29 margin. Western Kentucky has just a pair of losses to West Virginia and Louisville on the season and wins over Alabama and Memphis, while Charlotte has a road win at Davidson to its credit. The 49ers have lost at home to East Carolina, Georgia State and Appalachian State, so can’t fault the projection and think Western Kentucky is probably the right side, so will take a chance on Western Kentucky in this one.
Arlington at Little Rock: Little Rock is favored by 2 with a total of 68, while I have Arlington leading 48-32. Arlington gets credit for a tough schedule, but what they’ve done is play four decent teams, which is where all their losses came from and also play four weak teams, such as Dallas Christian and Howard Payne, who they crushed. Tough one to call, but would lean with the road team if I had to play.
We’re at 9-9 for the season and 7-4 since moving to our halftime wagers. Fairly small schedule of games for Thursday and a fair-sized slate of games for New Year’s Day.
Michigan at Maryland: The Wolverines are favored by 1.5 in the first half and the total here is 67.5, while I have Maryland leading by a 34-31 margin. Michigan is undefeated on the season, but has just played one game away from home this year, knocking off Nebraska by an 80-69 score. Michigan has the better offensive numbers, while Maryland gets the nod in defense and strength of schedule, so will take Maryland +1.5 for the first half of this one.
Colorado at USC: Southern Cal is favored by 1 with a first half total of 66 and I have the Trojans leading 37-33 at the break. Both of Colorado’s losses have been on the road against solid teams, while the Buffs don’t really have any solid wins. USC has won all four home games and split their two neutral games this season. The stats are pretty comparable between the two.
Minnesota at Wisconsin: The Badgers are 4.5 with a total of 67 in the first half of this one, while I have Wisconsin leading by a 35-26 score. The Gophers have played nine home games and one road game this season, with the lone loss coming in their one away games. The Badgers are coming off a home loss last game.
Utah at UCLA: The Bruins are favored by 4 in the first half of this one and the total is 64, while I have UCLA leading 37-29. Utah is 4-1 on the season, with the loss coming in their lone away game this season and the biggest win the Utes have this season is a season-opening win over the Washington Huskies. The Bruins lost to a pair of decent squads in San Diego State and Ohio State and defeated Marquette, who is rated slightly better than the Utes. Will go ahead and take a shot on the Bruins -4 in this one.
Arizona at Washington: The Wildcats are favored by 4.5 with a total of 64.5 in this one and I have Arizona leading 36-32, so pretty close to the line in this one. UCLA has played a much tougher schedule so far, while Utah has a bit of an edge in stats.
We dropped both college plays last night to fall to 8-9 on the season and have another slate of decent games on tap for today, so we’ll get right to it.
Tennessee at Missouri: Tennessee is favored by 2 in the first half with a total of 62 and I have Missouri leading 31-30 at the break, so pretty close on both the side and the total.
Arkansas at Auburn: Arkansas is favored by 2 and the first half total is 69, while I have Auburn leading 39-38 at the break, so the numbers lean to the over in this one. Arkansas’ adjusted tempo rating is pretty low, although the Tigers have shown a tendency to run with uptempo teams.
Seton Hall at Xavier: Xavier is favored by 1.5 in the first half and the total here is 68, while I have the Pirates leading 36-33 at the break, so no real room for error.
Penn State at Indiana: Indiana is favored by 3 and the total is 66, while I have the Hoosiers leading 34-33 at the break.
North Carolina at Georgia Tech: We’re looking at UNC being favored by 1 in the first half of this one with a total of 67.5 and I have the Tar Heels leading by a score of 36-34.
Richmond at Davidson: This one is even for the first half with a total of 67 and I have it 34-34, so another game where we’re pretty close to the line.
Florida at Vanderbilt: The Gators are favored by 4 in the first half and the total is 67, while I have Florida leading 39-27 at the break, so will take the Gators -4 for the lone play today. The Gators have been off for a while and are coming off a loss to Florida State. The team lost Keyontae Johnson in the game against Florida State and he’ll be helping out as a coach while he recovers. Just having him on the bench and in better health will be a big boost to the team. Vanderbilt is 4-2 on the season but doesn’t have a win over a decent team this season and the Gators get credit for having played a much-tougher schedule on the season.
We’re black on the plus side of .500 for the season after Minnesota came through for us last night and now we have a decent slate of games for Tuesday. We’ll look at some of the bigger games on the slate.
Florida State at Clemson: The Tigers are favored by 1 in the first half with a total of 60 and I have Clemson leading by a 32-23 score. The Seminoles are getting some action for the full game, as the line has moved from Clemson -3.5 to 1.5 even though the betting has been pretty even, so will just pass this one.
Mississippi at Alabama: Alabama is favored by 1 in the first half and I have Mississippi leading 33-26. Ole Miss hasn’t played anybody this season and really want no part of them on the road in this spot.
Purdue at Rutgers: Good game here, as Rutgers is favored by 1.5 in the first half and the total is 64. I have Rutgers leading by a 35-32 score, which is a little too close for comfort.
Northwestern at Iowa: The Hawkeyes are favored by 6 in the first half of this one and the total is 75, while I have Northwestern leading by a score of 41-38. Iowa is getting some sharp action for the full game, so another one I’ll just stay away from.
Houston at Tulsa: Houston is favored by 4.5 in the first half and the total is 59.5, while I have the Cougars leading by a 29-25 score and will take the under in this one. Both teams are in the 300s in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted pace ratings, so this should be a slow-moving, low-scoring game.
Miami at Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is favored by 3 with a total of 63 and I have the home team leading 31-24. Virginia Tech is No. 333 in adjusted pace ratings, so will take a shot on the under 63 in this one, as well.
Texas A&M at LSU: LSU is favored by 3.5 in the first half and the total is 66.5, while I have the Tigers leading 40-28. No real interest in this one, as neither team has played much of a schedule and neither has what you can call a quality win so far this season.
We have a couple of back-to-backs on the schedule today and I’m going to bypass those games, not really knowing what to expect out of the teams. There’s no point in venturing into the unknown when you don’t have to. That’s going to have an impact on the number of games we have to look at, but it’s still early in a long season. We managed to sneak in there by a half-point on Sunday to get back to .500 at 7-7.
Colorado at Arizona: The Wildcats are favored by 1.5 in the first half with a total of 64.5, while I have Colorado leading 37-31 at the break. The Buffs have played a tougher schedule than Arizona so far, which is the primary reason I have them leading here. Colorado does get a little bit of an advantage in first half scoring margin, as well. Both teams have won plenty of games, but neither one has a win over a quality program yet.
Maryland at Wisconsin: The Badgers are favored by 5 in the first half with a total of 62.5 and I have Wisconsin leading by a 35-23 margin. Maryland is getting a bit of play in the full-game line, as the Badgers opened -9.5 and the line has stayed there or dropped to 9 despite the home team getting close to 75% of the early wagers in the contest. The total has dropped from 135.5 to 133.
Michigan State at Minnesota: The Spartans are favored by 1.5 with a first-half total of 73 and I have Minnesota leading by a 41-38 margin. The full-game total has really dropped, opening at 160.5 and is now all the down to 153, so not real anxious to go against that move, even for a first-half wager. The Spartans are also getting a lot of money for the full game, as the game opened Minnesota -1 and now the Spartans are favored by 2.5. Not really thrilled with this one, but will take a stab on the Gophers +1.5 for the first half and will see what transpires in this one.
Northern Arizona at Gonzaga: The Zags are favored by 22.5 over Northern Arizona, who is one of the worst teams in college basketball. I have Gonzaga leading 59-23 at the break, which would put the game over the first-half total of 75. Motivation for the Zags could be a question, as they’re coming off the win against Virginia.
After having some decent games the past few days, that ends in a hurry, as we have a pretty ugly slate of games on tap for Sunday. Back-to-back 2-1 days have us closer to where we want to be, but still just 6-7 for the year after a bit of a rough start.
DePaul at Providence: This might be the best game of the day, but DePaul has only played one game this season and not about to put too much weight to the projection here, as I have Providence leading 38-30 at the half, when the first-half line is Providence -3.5 and the total is 68.
Drake at Indiana State: Interesting game here, as Drake is now favored by 1.5 with a first-half total of 67 and I have Indiana State leading 35-29 at the break. Drake is undefeated but hasn’t played anybody, while Indiana State has a pair of road losses to Purdue and St. Louis, who are both better than Drake. This one was still at Drake -2 when I started writing, but still going to take a stab on the underdog here and take Indiana State +1.5 in the first half.
UCSB at Irvine: Santa Barbara is favored by 1 in the first half with a total of 62.5 and I have UCSB leading 31-29 at the break. Both teams have played Bethesda this season and UCSB won by 71, while Irvine won by 80.
Missouri State at Northern Iowa: Another interesting game, as Missouri State is 3-0 on the season, with three home wins against somewhat dismal competition. Northern Iowa is 1-4, but all four losses have been to decent teams, although not really great ones. The Panthers are -3 in the first half with a total of 66 and I have it 41-30 for the home team.
Illinois State at Loyola: Loyola is favored by 8.5 and the first-half total has just dropped down to 65, which reflects the full-game total dropping. My numbers have this one easily sailing over the total, but Illinois State’s numbers are a bit distorted due to the team’s 177-108 win over Greenville. Illinois State was 62 for 67 in 2-point attempts that game. Going to respect the line move and just sit back and see how this one plays out.
We split our two first-half plays and won the full-game total, but still just 4-6 on the season after a bit of a slow start. Not a huge slate today, so we’ll look at some of the games for both the half and the full game.
Kentucky at Louisville: Louisville is favored by 4.5 with a total of 133.5 for the full game and I have them winning 64-60. The Cardinals are favored by 2.5 in the first half with a total of 63 and I have Kentucky leading by a 33-32 margin at the break.
Ohio State at Northwestern: The Buckeyes are favored by 3.5 with a total of 140.5 and I have Northwestern taking this one by a 79-68 final. Ohio State is favored by 2 in the first half with a total of 66 and I have the Wildcats leading 41-28, so will take a shot on Northwestern +2 for the first half, as Ohio State has been more of a second-half team this season, which is reflected in the first-half margin being greater than the full-game margin.
Houston at UCF: Houston is favored by 7.5 with a total of 137 and my numbers have UCF coming away with a 66-62 decision. The Cougars are favored by 4 in the first half with a total of 64 and I have Houston leading by a 28-27 score, so will play the first half under in this one.
Green Bay at Wright State: Green Bay has really hit rock bottom and find themselves 16-point underdogs to Wright State and a total of 147. I have Wright winning 87-67. Wright State is favored by 9 with a total of 70 for the first half and I have Wright State leading 43-24, which is nearly the same margin as the full game.
Indiana at Illinois: Illinois is favored by 7.5 and I have them winning by an 82-69 score, while the first half line sees Illinois favored by 4 with a total of 68.5 and I have this one 39-30 for the home team at the break.
Virginia vs. Gonzaga: The Zags are favored by 9 with a total of 140 and I have the Bulldogs winning this one 86-68. Gonzaga is favored by 5 with a total of 66.5 for the first half and I have this one much closer early, with GU leading 30-29 and will take a shot on the first half under and hope the Cavs can dictate the pace early.
The Big Ten Conference has stepped it up for college basketball fans this Christmas Day, giving us four games staggered throughout the day, much like the NBA, so at least there’s options for bettors. The biggest game of the day is the early one between Wisconsin at Michigan State.
Wisconsin at Michigan State: The Badgers are favored by 1.5 and the total is 140, while I have Wisconsin winning 79-66. Wisconsin did lose its only true road game of the season at Marquette, who isn’t rated quite as high at the Spartans. Michigan State does have a home win over Duke this year and is coming off a loss to Northwestern to open league play. The Badgers are favored by .5 with a total of 66.5 in the first half. Would normally skip right over this one, but since it’s Christmas and people will want to wager on a few of the TV games, will take a shot on Wisconsin in the first half. The Badgers are +15.4 in the first half and +19.7 for the full game, while State is +4 in the first half and +8.7 for the full game.
Maryland at Purdue: Purdue is -6 with a total of 137.5 in this one and I have them winning 71-63, so pretty close to the lines. The Boilermakers are -3 and 65 in the first half and I have them leading by a score of 34-29, so another one without much edge and I’ll just stay clear of this one.
Michigan at Nebraska: The Wolverines are -8 with a total of 148.5 for the full game and favored by 4 with a total of 69.5 for the first half. Surprisingly, the numbers have this one even, which I don’t really see, as Michigan is clearly better. This is the first true road game of the season for the Wolverines, who haven’t played since Dec. 13, so you have to think they could be a little rusty in the early going. Going to take a shot on Nebraska +4 for the first half, although it’s another case of making a play primarily due to the situation.
Iowa at Minnesota: Iowa is favored by 7.5 with a total of 163.5 and I have the Hawkeyes running away with this one by a 96-82 score. The first half line is Iowa -4 with a total of 78 and I have Iowa leading 45-40 at the break. Iowa is known for its fast style of play, but Minnesota likes to go uptempo, as well, they’re just not as successful as the Hawkeyes. Going to take a stab on the over in this one.
Moving the wrong direction with the college basketball plays, as we’re trying to find our feet a little bit after jumping in a little quicker than normal. A few earlier starts today, so we’ll get right to it.
Illinois at Penn State: Decent game here, where the Illini are favored by 3.5 and the total is 152. The numbers have Illinois winning 84-76. Illinois is just 1-2 in true road games, but their victory was a win against Duke and they close losses to Missouri and Rutgers, a pair of solid teams. Penn State lost to Seton Hall at home.
Rutgers at Ohio State: Ohio State is favored by 2 and I have Rutgers winning 77-72 due to a slight edge in AOPR. Rutgers has a few decent wins this season, including a win at Maryland, while Ohio State saw its lone defeat on the road. Tough game here.
Villanova at Marquette: Villanova is favored by 4 in this one and I have them taking a 75-73 decision in what looks to be a pretty decent game. Villanova has a nice road win at Texas under its belt, while Marquette has lost at home to Oklahoma State and Seton Hall, both good teams, but not quite up to par with Villanova.
UCLA at Oregon: The Ducks are favored by 2 in this one with a total of 139 and I have Oregon winning 72-70, so no real margin for error. UCLA has dropped both away games this season, while the Ducks haven’t beaten anybody as good as UCLA.
Xavier at Creighton: Creighton is favored by 6.5 and the total here is 155.5, while I have Creighton winning 86-79. Both teams like to play at a fast tempo, with Xavier No. 64 in Ken Pomeroy’s pace ratings and Creighton is No. 36. Both teams are in Pomeroy’s top 12 in offensive efficiency and while not bad defensively, both teams are better offensively, so will take a stab on the over in this one.
Providence at Butler: Providence is favored by 1.5 and the numbers have them winning this one 75-67. Butler hasn’t been very good this season, struggling with a poor Western Michigan team to start the season, then dropping their last three games. Providence does have road wins over TCU and Seton Hall in their last two games, so have shown they can play well away from home.
After winning our first two college plays of the year, have turned around and dropped the last three, with Charleston Southern blowing a 10-point halftime lead in style last night and Little Rock never getting untracked. You also see why I’m a proponent of first-half plays, which I’ll switch to once a few more games are in the books. It’s a little more work, but typically yield better results. Of the three losses, two of the tens blew halftime leads and there’s a huge difference between being 2-3 and 4-1.
West Virginia at Kansas: Great game here, where Kansas is favored by 1.5 after opening as 3-point favorites and getting close to 60% of the wagers, so a few people like the Mountaineers in this one. I have this one 75-70 for Kansas, but no interest in going against the reverse movement.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma: Texas Tech is favored by 2.5 in this one and I have the Red Raiders winning by a score of 69-65. This is the first true road game of the year for Tech, who lost to Houston on a neutral court. The Sooners are undefeated at home this year, although they did struggle a bit with TCU, who is really the only decent team they’ve played in Oklahoma.
North Carolina at NC State: The Tar Heels are now favored by 1.5 after opening as a small underdog. UNC has a couple of losses to Iowa and Texas this season, which is no crime, as they’re both solid teams. The Wolfpack isn’t quite in the same class as those teams, but they’ve played a poor schedule so far, losing to the only decent team they’ve played. N.C. State is capable of pulling an upset or two at home, but not so sure it’s here, as I have North Carolina winning 75-63.
Purdue at Iowa: Iowa is favored by 7 in this one and Purdue has dropped a couple of games this season against decent competition. Iowa is coming off a loss to Gonzaga and the game with the Bulldogs did help their strength of schedule rating, but they still trail Purdue in that department. I have this one 85-83, so will take a shot on Purdue +7.
Louisville at Pitt: The Cardinals are now favored by 3 after opening as 1-point favorites and they’re getting 60% of the wagers. I have Louisville winning this one 67-64, so right at the current number. Louisville lost by 37 to Wisconsin last time out in their first road game of the season. After an opening-game stunner at the hands of St. Francis, Pitt was won their last five but hasn’t played anybody as good as Louisville.
St. Mary’s vs. SD State: This one is being played in San Luis Obispo and SD State is favored by 2.5, which is where it opened and the Aztecs are getting 80% of the wagers, so you would expect to see a bit of a line move. I have SD State winning 68-55, but no interest in this one.
We dropped yesterday’s play on Illinois, who wilted a bit in the second half, to fall to 2-1 on the season. A bit of an ugly slate for Monday and there are a few early starts, but we’ll look at some of the later games, with an emphasis on the TV games, which are the ones most people are interested in.
Tulsa at Memphis: Memphis is favored by 8 in this one and the total is 137.5, while I have the Tigers taking a 70-64 victory. Strength of schedule is pretty even in this one, with the Tigers getting the nod for a better scoring margin and for playing at home. Tough one to call, although the numbers lean slightly towards the road dog.
Little Rock at Missouri State: Strange one here, as Missouri State opened -1.5 and have gotten the vast majority of the wagers in the game so far, but Little Rock is now favored by 1. Little Rock with a huge AOPR edge in this one, while Missouri State easily has the better scoring margin. But that’s due to playing a pair of weak foes in their two games this season. I have Little Rock winning 84-68. Will go ahead and take Little Rock -1 for one of today’s two plays.
Murray State at Austin Peay: Murray State opened -4 and has moved to -3.5 even though the Racers are getting more than two-thirds of the early wagers. I have Murray State winning this one 86-74, but a little worried that the Racers have dropped both true road games this season against teams who are pretty comparable to Austin Peay.
Southern Illinois at Butler: Butler is favored by 8.5 in this one and has a huge AOPR edge, while Southern Illinois has a big edge in scoring margin. Southern Illinois did get a win over Murray State, but their other wins came over North Dakota twice, Quincy and SE Missouri. I have Butler winning 76-60 and at 1-2 you wouldn’t think Butler would have a letdown, but might be a little tough to get up for Southern Illinois after playing Villanova and Indiana and having a home-and-home with Providence starting Wednesday.
Hampton at Charleston Southern: Ugly one here, but for some reason it’s on ESPN Plus, so we’ll take a look at this one. Hampton is one of the worst teams in college basketball, although Charleston isn’t much better. Charleston opened -7 and the line has dropped to 5 and I have Charleston winning this one 82-60, so will go against the line move and take the home team, who has the edge in AOPR and scoring margin.
Gonzaga gave us a few anxious moments down the stretch, but they got the job done and Stanford squeaked out the cover in the late game. Will stick with the same format of looking over most of the bigger games on the schedule.
Creighton at UConn: Creighton opened -2 and the line has been bet up to 3.5, as the Jays are getting more than 80% of the wagers in the game. I have a decent strength of schedule edge to the visitors, so the numbers agree with the line move and have Creighton predicted to win by an 84-69 final.
Illinois at Rutgers: Rutgers opened -1 and the favorite has flopped to Illinois, who have moved to -2.5 with 58% of the early wagers in the game. The betting percentages don’t really justify a 3.5-point swing in the odds. Another game where the road team gets a decent AOPR advantage, with the Illini playing Ken Pomeroy’s No. 46 schedule and Rutgers at No. 184. I have Illinois winning this one 88-68, so will take the small road favorite in this one.
Oklahoma State at Texas: The Longhorns opened -9 and the line has dropped to 6.5, with two-thirds of the early wagers coming in on the Cowboys. My numbers don’t really agree with the move, as I have Texas winning this one by a 77-61 margin.
Marquette at Xavier: Good game here, where the home team is favored by 3. Marquette has definitely played a tougher schedule, coming in with Pomeroy’s 60th-toughest slate compared to Xavier, who is at No. 195. Xavier did thump a pretty good Oklahoma team last time they played and Marquette has lost a few games to good teams, but also have wins over Wisconsin and Creighton, who are better than anybody Xavier has played this season. I have Marquette winning 75-70.
Providence at Seton Hall: Seton Hall is favored by 3.5 after opening -5 and the Pirates have gotten the majority of the wagers in this one. The Pirates have the edge in scoring margin and strength of schedule, so I have them winning 79-69.
Georgetown at St. Johns: St. Johns has moved to -4 after opening -3.5 and the betting has been pretty even in this one. Scoring margins and AOPR are pretty similar and I have St. Johns winning 85-82.
St. Louis at Minnesota: St. Louis is favored by 3 and the road team has a significant scoring margin edge, while Minnesota gets a slight edge in strength of schedule, although not nearly enough to make me look at the home dog. I have St. Louis winning 85-75.
It’s time to kick things back off with our college basketball plays and for now, we’ll look at some of the bigger games each day until conference play kicks in. A pretty decent card for Saturday, with quality taking over for quantity. I’ll be taking it easy on the number of plays to start, as some teams have fewer games than you like to see to get started.
Gonzaga vs. Iowa: It doesn’t get much bigger than this one, as the Zags opened -3 and the line has moved up to Gonzaga -4.5. This one has on of the largest strength of schedule differences you’ll see. Gonzaga has played Ken Pomeroy’s third-toughest schedule and Iowa has played No. 282. Since my prediction method relies on strength of schedule, or AOPR if you prefer, I have Gonzaga winning by double digits, so will take the Zags in this one.
Louisville vs. Wisconsin: Wisconsin opened -4 and the line is up to 6 even though the Badgers are just getting 25% of the early wagers. In no rush to go against the line move here, although I have Wisconsin winning 65-63.
North Carolina vs. Kentucky: Another solid game here, as North Carolina is favored by 3. The line on the game has held steady with 62% of the bets on the Tar Heels. I have Carolina winning 68-62.
UCLA vs. Ohio State: Another game with big line movement, as UCLA is -2 after opening as a 1-point dog. The Bruins have played a more difficult schedule and I have them winning 76-65. The Bruins were favored by 2.5 earlier this morning, so a little buyback on the Buckeyes has occurred.
Colorado State at St. Mary’s: The Gaels opened -5.5 and the line has stayed there with the home team getting close to 80% of the wagers. Colorado State has only played two games this season against weak teams. It’s tough to get a read on the Rams. St. Mary’s has played eight games but struggled a bit against EWU last game. The numbers have St. Mary’s winning 88-61 but will pass due to CSU having just two games under their belts.
Arizona at Stanford: The Cardinal opened -1.5 and the line is up to 2.5. Another game with a huge AOPR difference, with Stanford at No. 54 and Arizona being No. 293. The numbers reflect that difference with a projection of 77-56 for Stanford, so will take the Cardinal for a second play today.