Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday Night College Hoops Preview

The 3 games featuring ranked teams tonight feature a 3 touchdown spread, a Conference USA matchup, and a 10:30pm tip-off. No dice.

But there are two 7pm games games featuring conferences that matter and teams that are decent (and we can all be in bed by 9:30 because working is the worst). So we're going to look into them and hopefully find some easy money.

Michigan State @ Iowa, 7pm, ESPN
Line: Iowa -2.5

What MSU (10-5, 1-1 Big Ten) does:

  • 5th in the nation in assists per game & 11th in assist/turnover ratio
  • 27th in the nation in rebounds per game, made up of a 34.6% offensive rebounding percentage (40th) and a 78.3% defensive rebounding percentage (9th)
  • 49th in the country at 74.1 points per game, made up of 53.1% from 2s (121st), 31.9% from 3s (85th), and just 15% from free throws (345th/351)
  • 49th in the country at 60.1 points allowed per game, made up of 51.5% from 2s (196th), 25.6% from 3s (94th), and 22.9% from free throws (264th)
  • 11th in the country at 40.1% from three point range
  • In road games: lost 79-78 (OT) at Notre Dame, won 64-59 at Navy
Right off the bat, we can see three big things. They have an efficient offense that relies on a lot of three pointers and not a lot of free throws. They also give up quite a few free throws, but are otherwise pretty staunch on defense. Third, they are a great rebounding team. 

What Iowa (11-4, 2-0 Big Ten) does:
  • 32nd in the nation is rebounds per game, made up of 34.1% offensive rebounding percentage (51st) and 72.3% defensive rebounding percentage (118th)
  • 117th in the country at 70.7 points scored per game, made up of 49.6% from 2s (212th), 25.8% from 3s (228th), and 24/6% from free throws (32nd)
  • 39th in the country at 59.3 points against per game, made up of 53.5% from 2s (264th), 29.0% from 3s (205th), and 17.4% from free throws (53rd)
  • 78th in the country with 22.4 free throw attempts per game, and they make 77.7% of them (4th in the country)
  • In big home games: beat Nebraska 70-59, lost to Iowa State 90-75
Matching this up with the MSU stats, we see that Iowa should have no trouble getting to the free throw line, but might have trouble scoring otherwise. They also appear to be in for a difficult night trying to stop MSU from the field. I'd call it about a tie on the boards, which is surprising because Iowa's four best players are two forwards and two centers (MSU has no centers on the roster and their tallest player is listed at 6'9"). 

The pick depends on how you feel about two pieces: (1) is MSU going to shoot anywhere close to their usual numbers? (2) does the home crowd matter enough? I would answer Yes-No and take Sparty +2.5, but it's not quite the lock I was looking for tonight.

LSU @ Missouri, 7pm, ESPN2
Line: LSU -3

What LSU (11-2, 0-0 SEC) does:

  • 14th in the country with 40.9 rebounds per game
  • 17th in the country with 16.8 assists per game
  • 40th in the country with 75.6 points per game
  • 10th in the country with 28.4 rebounds per game allowed
  • 12th in the country with 6.0 blocks per game
  • In road games: won 79-70 @ UAB, won 74-73 @ West Virginia
  • 142nd-toughest schedule (3rd-easiest in the SEC)
What Mizzou (6-7, 0-0 SEC) does:
  • Stink
  • 240th in the country in points per game at 65.4
  • 205th in the country in points allowed per game at 67.2
  • Granted, they have the 30th most difficult schedule in the country (3rd toughest in the SEC)
  • 242nd in the country with 33.5 rebounds per game
  • 310th in the country with 10.2 assists per game
I almost don't even want to go any deeper. Just hammer LSU and count your money. But I will, because I want to make sure we're really going to call this a lock. And because life in the cube is a dull, dreary place.

How LSU scores:
  • 75.6 points per game is the 34th-most in the nation
  • 63.5% of their points come from 2-pointers, 4th best in the nation behind Presbyterian, South Florida, and Cal State Northridge
  • Just 19.2% of their points come from 3-pointers, 16th-fewest in the country
  • Just 17.3% of their points come from free throws, 39th-fewest in the country
  • 0.291 free throw attempts per field goal attempt is 323rd in the country
How you can score on Mizzou:
  • 67.2 points per game is the 205th-best in the nation
  • 47.4% of points come from 2-pointers, 66th-fewest in the country
  • 27.6% come from 3-pointers, 157th-fewest in the country
  • 24.9% come from free throws, 43rd-most in the country

How Mizzou scores:
  • 65.4 points per game is the 240th-best in the nation
  • 49% of points come from 2-pointers, 229th-most in the nation
  • 29% come from 3-pointers, 154th-most in the nation
  • 22% come from free throws, 122nd-most in the nation
  • 0.412 free throw attempts per field goal attempt is 89th in the country

    How you can score on LSU:
    • 65.6 points per game is the 172nd-best in the nation
    • 57.7% of points come from 2-pointers, 25th-most in the nation
    • 26.4% come from 3-pointers, 121st-fewest in the country
    • 15.9% come from free throws, 23rd-fewest in the country

    • LSU grabs 33.9% of offensive rebounds (53rd)
    • LSU grabs 72.0% of defensive rebounds (125th)
    • Mizzou grabs 27.1% of offensive rebounds (224th)
    • Mizzou grabs 70.2% of defensive rebounds (194th)

    Players for Missouri that are not playing:
    • Junior guard Deuce Bello is out. He averages 3 points and 1 rebound in about 11 minutes per game
    • Freshman guard Montaque Gill-Caesar is questionable with back spasms. Bello isn't a big loss, but MGC averages 27 minutes, 11.5 points, 4 rebounds, and a steal
    • That's almost a third of the minutes that Mizzou's guards play
    This is such a steal my head is going to explode. LSU -3 is the unquestionable play of the night. Bet your Valentine's Day fund and treat your girl twice as nice next month. 

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