Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Night College Hoops Picks

Let's get back after it. Villanova finally failed to cover a spread (but still beat Cuse, so it's not the end of the world), and we lost our 8-bet heater. But, all streaks have to come to an end so new streaks can begin. That said, it's an awesome night for college hoops with 13 ranked teams playing (although only a handful are playing against teams from major conferences). I'm going to break down as many of them as I can until my boss catches me and I get sent detention for the day.

(Editor's note: between the time I wrote this up this morning and the games tonight, the new rankings came out. I kept both in, so it's set up as Last Week/This Week. For example, Wisconsin was #5 in last week's poll and is now currently #6.)

#5/6 Wisconsin (-9.5) @ Cal, 9pm

Notable games for Wisconsin: beat Georgetown 68-65 and Oklahoma 69-56 (neutral courts), lost 80-70 at home to Duke, won 49-38 at Marquette and 93-54 at Milwaukee
Notable games for Cal: beat Syracuse 73-59 and lost to Texas 71-55 (neutral courts), have won home games against Cal Poly, Montana, Wyoming, Princeton, and Eastern Washington

Initially I was going to pick Wisconsin and say 'Don't overthink it' - but then I overthought it. The only pyramid-caliber teams that the Badgers have played are Duke, Oklahoma and (maybe) Georgetown. Duke beat them by ten in their own building. They beat Oklahoma by 7 when the Sooners shot 37% from the floor and doubled their number of turnovers. They beat Georgetown by three. Georgetown! 

Pick: Cal +9.5 and it's my favorite pick of the day already. 

#10/10 Kansas (-7.5) @ Temple, 7pm

Notable games for Kansas: beat URI, Tennessee, Michigan State, and Utah on neutral courts; won 75-70 at Georgetown, beat Florida 71-65 at home, got killed by Kentucky on a neutral court
Notable games for Temple: lost 74-54 to Duke and 57-50 to UNLV (neutral courts), lost 58-56 at Saint Joe's and 85-62 at Villanova, have won home games against American, Louisiana Tech, Penn, LIU-Brooklyn, and Towson

My gut says this game is similar to Kansas' double-digit wins over URI and Tennessee. Home court advantage aside (Philly stand up), Kansas just has too much skill in the frontcourt and backcourt. Temple is a small-time team this year. They've been killed by the two legit teams they've played so far, and they've gone just 2-2 in Big Five games, getting outscored by 4 points per game. Part of that is Villanova, but don't forget that the rest of the Big Five stinks and Temple should have killed them. 

Pick: Kansas -7.5

#11/11 Wichita State (-19) against Loyola Marymount, 11pm (Game in Honolulu, HI)

I'm not going through this whole thing for this game. Throwing out their games against Utah, Memphis, and Alabama, Wichita State has won each game by an average of 81-59. That's 22 points. Against teams that I have heard of (official measurements, coming at you!), Loyola Marymount scores 60.8 points per game and gives up 73.8. That's only a deficit of 13 points, but none of those teams were even ranked, let alone as good as WSU. 

Pick Wichita State -19 (if you're teasing, throw this one in for some breathing room)

#12/21 Ohio State (-22.5) hosting Miami (OH), 6pm

I'm going to do the same thing as before. Ohio State against bad teams: average score is 87.4 - 56.1. Miami (OH)'s side is a little tougher because they've kept in to single digits against Northwestern and Dayton. They lost by 19 to Evansville and by 15 to Virginia Tech. 

Pick: I'd stay away, but OSU seems like a "crush bad teams and lose to good teams" type of team. So if you really have a gambling problem, I'd take the Buckeyes.

(Editor's note: Wow! Getting killed by UNC is not a great look when you are pushing to be a top-ten team.)

#16/13 Washington (-13.5) hosting Tulane, 11pm
Notable games for Washington: have beaten everyone they've played, including SDSU, Eastern Washington, and Oklahoma
Notable games for Tulane: lost 71-49 at home to Wake Forest, have beaten everyone else including Mississippi State

Beyond their big games listed above, these teams have beaten a lot of garbage. But Washington's "garbage" is a step above Tulane's garbage. Clearly, the Huskies are a better team, and having a home game at this distance is definitely an advantage. Then consider that the Huskies are 15th in the country in rebounding and the Green Wave are 119th. 

In a situation like this, the underdog is going to have to shoot the lights out. Jay Hook and Louis Dabney can, and the team combines for the 38th best shooting percentage in the country. That's why this spread is lower than the OSU/WSU spreads. But throw that upset you're considering out the window, because Tulane's stats are inflated from their pitiful schedule. 

Pick: Washington -13.5

#18/30 Miami (-1.5) against Providence, 9pm (Game in Brooklyn, NY)
Notable games for Miami: won 69-67 at Florida, won 70-61 at home against Illinois, coming off a 72-44 loss at home to Eastern Kentucky
Notable games for Providence: lost on the road 58-38 to Kentucky and 69-60 to Boston College, beat Florida State 80-54 and Notre Dame 75-74 (both neutral court), lost 77-67 at home to Brown but have beaten URI (68-60), Stony Brook (79-61), and UMass (85-65) since

I don't know about either of these teams, Miami looks like a decent team that will end up somewhere in the middle of the ACC, but they just got absolutely head-scratchingly killed at home against a bunch of nobodies. Providence also looks like a pretty decent team that might even contend for the Big East title. 

I love a game like this because the Eastern Kentucky game was clearly a fluke. Miami is underrated here, and they're playing away from home with a chip on their shoulder. Providence is a decent team, maybe, but they haven't played anybody of Miami's caliber (Kentucky doesn't count because they're too good). I love only having to give up a point and a half, but I'd consider the moneyline too depending on the price difference. 

Pick: Miami -1.5

#20/17 St. John's (-9.5) hosting Long Beach State, 7:30pm

I am really high on SJU this year. I think they're going to end up legitimately challenging Villanova for the Big East. On the other side, I'd hate to play for Long Beach State right now. They are in the midst of a six game road trip with games at Stephen F Austin, San Diego State, Texas, Saint John's, Syracuse, and Louisville. Yeeeesh. They have also played (and lost to) BYU, Xavier, UCLA, and Washington. To their credit, they did beat Xavier one time and Kansas State. I think St. John's wins this, at home, pretty easily.

Pick: SJU -9.5 (but if you're looking for another team for that teaser....)

No comments:

Post a Comment