By Ryan Coleman
It has been quite the normal spongebob betting week for me, so quite average. There is a monster slate this today however and I have done more research for these games than I have all season just for your successes. It’s a bit of a long one but I hope you enjoy my picks today, here goes nothing.
Disclaimer: I write these picks the night before and it gets published the morning of the games. If the lines move at all before tip-off, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @ryancoleman98 if you have any questions.
Michigan State at Wisconsin
12:00 pm central, FOX
Line: Michigan St. -4.0
The Pick: Michigan State -4.0 (Play of the Day)
Wisconsin is falling apart figuratively and kind of literally with two significant players suddenly gone for them in Kobe King and Brad Davison. I don’t think Wisconsin’s weak guard play will be able to stop Cassius Winston and the Spartans seem to have learned how to play even when he is having a down game. Michigan State has been notoriously bad on the road this season but they’ve been getting better and playing a lot more consistently than Wisconsin. I will take Sparty on this one, especially considering MSU already beat Wisconsin by 12 earlier this season when the Badgers were fully healthy.
Rutgers vs. Michigan
3:30 pm central, Big Ten Network
Line: Michigan -1.5
The Pick: Rutgers +1.5
With Zavier Simpson cleared to play, this may be the X-factor for the Wolverines to win this game, but I am still feeling the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers excels down low and Michigan allows a lot of inside buckets. For Michigan, all seven games where they have shot under 55% from two, they’ve lost. Rutgers has limited opponents to 43.2% from inside and I expect this trend to continue. The Scarlet Knights haven’t played too well away from home but luckily for them, this game is at Madison Square Garden, which is closer to home compared to Michigan. The Wolverines wheels seem to be falling off and they are reaching dangerous bubble territory. I fully expect that to continue here and Rutgers to take it in a thrilling matchup.
Oregon at Stanford
5:00 pm central, Pac-12 Network
Line: Oregon -2.0
The Pick: Stanford +2.0
When prepping for this game, I was all in on Stanford, and then they went and lost to Oregon State at home and now…well, not so much. Oregon has struggled on the road this year and both teams have had some weird games. While Stanford is excellent at shooting from downtown, they prefer interior shots more. The Ducks, however, allow a lot more perimeter shots than the average team so hopefully Stanford can play into Oregon’s own game and take advantage of some open looks from deep. The Cardinal defense is surprisingly solid and should disrupt Oregon in possession considering the Cardinal force a turnover on nearly a quarter of opponents possessions. What I forsee is Stanford to get out to a double-digit lead and find a way to let it slip with the game coming down to the final possession. Both teams shoot under 70% from the charity stripe so really this game is completely up for grabs but I’m taking Stanford here. They’re due for a big game and the tough Thursday-Saturday double-road game turn around should impact the Ducks negatively as well.
Kentucky at Auburn
5:00 pm central, ESPN
Line: Auburn -3.0
The Pick: Kentucky +3.0 (Play of the Day pt. 2)
I have never been so confident in a pick exclusively based on gut than this game. Behind Baylor +2.0 at Florida, I think this is the bet of the season for me. Auburn seems to be a fake team who had a lucky schedule leading them to the second-to-last undefeated team. It’s not like Kentucky has been all that special either but anytime Auburn has faced a top-50 team they have been embarrassed along with some near losses to sub-75 ranked squads. Including a double OT victory over Mississippi on Tuesday. Sure, Auburn is playing at home but not only has Kentucky been playing better on the road, but they play better on the road than they do at home. The Wildcats have the momentum edge, are a lot more consistent, and don’t completely fall apart when they face adversity. I would probably tease this to Kentucky -5.0 if that is an option because I expect Kentucly to absolutely roll here.
Texas Tech at Kansas
3:00 pm central, ESPN
Line: Kansas -9.0
The Pick: Kansas -9.0
This may seem like a lot of points but I believe in the Jayhawks here. Kansas has a solid defense all-around but they usually allow a lot of outside shots. The problem with Texas Tech is that they don’t particularly shoot much from downtown, usually depending on their interior play and reaching the charity stripe. The five games where Texas Tech’s free throw rate has fallen below 29%, they have lost. Kansas has limited opponents to a 22.9% FTR clip. I don’t have to tell you that Kansas is a menace in the paint on both sides of the court and I expect them to continue their down-low dominance in this game. Furthermore, Texas Tech only road win this season was against Kansas State and Fog Allen is historic for making opponents weak. I expect Kansas to cruise here.
Houston at Cincinnati
5:00 pm central, ESPN2
Line: Cincinnati -3.5
The Pick: Houston +3.5
I completely expected Houston to be favored by a couple points in this one so I see this as a nice value play. The Cougars are a lot more consistent and boast solid offensive rebounding numbers so they should have a good amount of second chance opportunities. Cincinnati turns the ball over a lot and Houston down low should outmatch the Bearcats. Cincy may be on a three-game win-streak but they have yet to beat a top-50 opponents this season with their best win coming against 57th ranked Tennessee and the Vols seem to look worse and worse each game. Houston controlled their matchup on the road against Wichita State earlier and have won 11 of their last 12 matchups with their only loss coming by two points on the road to a red-hot (somehow) Tulsa team. This should be a solid game but give me the Cougars in this one.
Colorado at USC
9:30 pm central, Fox Sports 1
Line: USC -1.0
The Pick: USC -1.0
I was excited to pick USC in this game because I was fully expecting the Buffaloes to be three or four point favorites before they went and got crushed by UCLA. Both teams are quite similar with not real distinct strengths or weaknesses on paper but Colorado seems to struggle to form a team on the road this season and again, the Thursday-Saturday double-road game turn around is a lot with basically one practice and some film to prepare. USC is a sneaky 17-4 and they have appeared to recover from some early season woes, winning 11 of their last 13 games including victories over TCU, LSU and Stanford in overtime. Until Colorado can prove they can play on the road, I’m fading them in these situations. Fight On.
Wichita St. at Tulsa
5:00 pm central, ESPNU
Line: Wichita State -2.0
The Pick: Tulsa +2.0
These are two teams whose stocks are trending in exact opposite directions with Tulsa riding high on a five-game winning streak and Wichita State losing two of its last four games with those two wins over sub-100 ranked teams. Wichita has struggled to stay out of foul trouble this season, and their two-foul participation is nearly the lowest in the league. Tulsa creates most of its points from down low so if they can get the Shockers’ stars out of the game early, they may be able to control this game. In all honesty, I don’t know too much about this Golden Hurricane team (who knew they were even called that!), but if they keep winning games by 40 over teams like Memphis, they may be a force to be reckoned with come March. Go Tulsa!
Indiana at Ohio State
11:00 pm central, ESPN
Line: Ohio State -7.5
The Pick: Ohio State -7.5
What happens when a movable force meets a stoppable object? Well, you get Indiana on the road against Ohio State. Indiana is the 350th worst team on the road this year but Ohio State’s momentum is dead last in the league, per Haslametrics. If both of those teams show up, this may be one of the worst Big Ten games all year. Ohio State’s inertia is like molasses at the moment so even playing at home against an abysmal road team may not be enough to move the NCAA basketball equivalent of a Snorlax. But if the Buckeyes can do anything it’s defend the pain and shoot three’s well, both of which matches up quite well with Indiana. I honestly could see anything happen in this game but I’m banking on Ohio State to show up here. DJ Carton missing this game is obviously not great for the Buckeyes but I’ll continue to bank on the Hoosiers being awful on the road here.
UNCG at ETSU
3:00 pm central
Line: ETSU -2.0
The Pick: ETSU -2.0
A game every mid-major fan is drooling over. I’m not quite at that level but this should be an excellent game and I fully expect ETSU to be a giant killer come march. The Buccaneers sit at a healthy 18-4 with their well-known win over LSU. UNCG is nothing to scoff at though sitting pretty at 17-5. These teams meant earlier in the season and ETSU won 64-57 on the road, limiting UNCG to just 3-13 (23.1%) from deep and 19-42 (45.2%) from inside-the-arc. But it’s not like ETSU had an awesome game either, just shooting 4-17 from downton and failing to reach the 50% clip from two. ETSU even turned the ball over on more than a quarter of their possessions. What the Buccaneers did quite well however was draw fouls and reach the charity stripe, tallying 26 points for free. This has been an Achilles heal for UNCG all season and despite its stout, turnover forcing, defense, sometimes their aggression comes at a cost. I’ll take ETSU please.
- DePaul at Marquette (-7.5): DePaul +7.5
- Arizona (-9.5) at Washington State: Washington State +9.5
- Arkansas at Alabama (-4.5): Arkansas +4.5
- Duke (-6.0) at Syracuse: Syracuse +6.0
- Florida State (-3.5) at Virginia Tech: Florida State -3.5
- Louisville (-3.5) at NC State: Louisville -3.5
- Xavier at Seton Hall (-8.0): Seton Hall -8.0
- Utah State at SDSU (-7.5): Utah State +7.5
This Week: 9-8
Plays of the Day: 7-2-1
Season Total: 148-111-4*