By Ryan Coleman
Alright, no more over/unders, I promise. I am convinced those are out to get me. Furthermore, from now on I am going to provide picks more based on my confidence rather than on the importance of the game. I will still try to cover the more popular and televised games but if I am feeling good about a mid-major matchup, you better believe I’ll be giving it to y’all. Also, just for funsies, I am going to be implementing a “play of the day” pick if I am really confident on one of my choices, and will be tracking it the rest of the season. Let’s get to some more games on this Tuesday slate. (Spoiler alert: It appears to be a frenzy of favorites today).
Maryland at Wisconsin
8:00 pm central, ESPN2
Line: Wisconsin -2.0
The Pick: Wisconsin -2.0
Most signs point to Maryland winning this game and being the correct pick here: Better defense, more talented team, comparable schedule strengths – but Maryland has been incapable of playing on the road, losing all three games away from the Xfinity Center. Wisconsin has also won five of their last six games, including Tennessee, Ohio St. and Penn State. Maryland beat Ohio State too, but Wisconsin did it on the road. Their pace of play is tough to adjust to and I don’t think Maryland is up for the challenge. The Terrapins this season usually get off to a slow start but this game will be slow all 40 minutes and I don’t know if they will ever get the momentum they need. Until Maryland can prove they can play away from home, I’m fading them. Wisconsin wins.
Kansas at Oklahoma
8:00 pm central, ESPN
Line: Kansas -6.5
The Pick: Kansas -6.5
Give me Kansas! After being sent home with their tail between their legs against Baylor, I am expecting the Jayhawks to be seeking revenge, and come out blazing. Furthermore, while Oklahoma hasn’t lost a game at home yet, they are 1-5 ATS on their own court and are coming off a bad loss to an Iowa State team that Kansas dismantled. The public may be questioning Kansas’ true talent after that loss to Baylor but I believe that game said more about the Bears (my favorite to win the conference) than the Jayhawks. I expect Kansas to take advantage of Oklahoma’s 92nd-ranked interior defense and be able to score at will down low. Jayhawks cover.
Louisville at Pittsburgh
6:00 pm central, ACC Network
Line: Louisville -4.5
The Pick: Louisville -4.5
Pittsburgh has been a strange team, beating Florida State, Rutgers and UNC (on the road), but falling to Nicholls St. (who?), Wake Forest and Miami. Oh, another thing, Louisville already beat Pittsburgh by 18 about a month ago. Sure, home court advantage should help that margin a bit, but I don’t think it impacts things by quite as much as Vegas is projecting here. Louisville hasn’t been all the great recently, but Jordan Nwora shined last outing against the Panthers, and where he goes, ‘Ville goes. It doesn’t seem like Pitt has an answer for him, so I expect the Cardinals to cover here.
Iowa at Northwestern
7:00 pm central, BIG Network
Line: Iowa -5.0
The Pick: Iowa -5.0 (Play of the Day)
Northwestern is not a good basketball team and their home court advantage is minimal. The Wildcats have lost to Merrimack, Radford and Hartford in Welsh-Ryan Arena, all sub-100 teams. They are coming off a win against Nebraska but that might very well be their last win of the year. Iowa on the other hand is coming off a dominating win against Maryland and has had an extra day to prepare for Northwestern. Iowa is also 10-6 against the spread this season and although they are a bit banged up, the public still seems to be behind on how good this team is. Sure, they may be a little inconsistent (looking at that loss to Nebraska, wowza), but they carry the momentum and the talent to topple Northwestern and cover the spread.
Duke at Clemson
6:00 pm central, ESPN
Line: Duke -11.0
The Pick: Duke -10.0
After their hiccup against Stephen F. Austin, a strange hiccup indeed, the Blue Devils have looked unstoppable, winning eight of their last nine games by double digits (they beat Georgia Tech by nine). Those games include strong performances on the road against Michigan State, Virginia Tech and earlier this month, a 33-point beatdown on Miami (a team comparable in rating to Clemson). I know what you’re saying: “But Ryan, Clemson just defeated the mighty Tar Heels of UNC at the Dean E. Smith Center” but we all know that UNC is not a scary team at all this season. I am expecting Duke to cruise here, and cover the spread along with it.
VCU at Dayton
7:00 pm central, CBS Sports Network
Line: Dayton -8.0
The Pick: Dayton -8.0
The big question here is whether UD star big man Obi Toppin plays. Toppin suffered a minor ankle injury on Saturday against UMass, and while reports have him likely to give it a go in this one, stay away if Toppin can’t play. VCU is not that big of a team and I don’t think they will have any ability to stop Dayton down low, especially considering the Flyers are the most efficient interior offense in the country. VCU’s losses are understandable, but they have also yet to have one big win, with their only top-100 victory coming against LSU. Dayton hasn’t lost a game at home all season and are on an absolute roll. They have probably been looking forward to this game for awhile now as well. Go Flyers!
- Wyoming at Nevada (-14.0): Nevada -14.0
- LSU (-6.0) at Texas A&M: LSU -6.0
- TCU at West Virginia (-7.5): WVU -7.5
- San Diego State (-6.5) at Fresno State: San Diego State -6.5 (Play of the Day Pt. 2)
- Texas Tech (-3.5) at Kansas State: Texas Tech -3.5
- Virginia Tech (-1.0) at Wake Forest: Virginia Tech -1.0
Last time: 9-9-1
Season Total: 98-70-2*
*While I do not publish all my plays, you can follow me on the Action Sports Network to see each of my picks @RcCola3.