NCAAB Picks ATS 1.19.19

Michigan Wolverines -3 at Wisconsin Badgers

The Michigan Wolverines are rolling right now.  Entering this matchup with a perfect record, most recently pounding the Northwestern Wildcats 80-60 last Sunday. The Wolverines have one of the most punishing defenses in the nation allowing just 56.5 points per game, 3rd fewest in division one basketball. They enter a matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers who’s only win in the last seven days was against Big Ten bottom dweller Penn State.  The Badgers have had some tough luck early in the Big Ten season as their last two losses to Purdue and Maryland were by a combined eight points. 

Wisconsin will need their star senior Ethan Happ to continue to play a vital role, operating as a do-it-all forward for the Badgers, as he’s averaging 19.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists. While he has some help with D’Mtrick Trice and Brad Davison the Wisconsin offense will need multiple players to play above their means on Saturday.  The bright side being that the Badgers are 8-2 straight up against Michigan in their last ten meetings at home.  The counter argument to Wisconsin’s home dominance is Michigan’s 5-1 record ATS over their last six away games.

The Wolverines are on a mission to finish what they started last March.  They continue that mission on Saturday handling the Badgers and covering the -3 spread.

Lousiville Cardinals -3.5 at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The Louisville Cardinals were 12 point underdogs last Saturday when they visited Chapel Hill. Not only covering the spread but beating the Tarheels straight up.  Led by leading scorer Jordan Nwora’s 18.1 points and 8.1 rebound per game.  The Cardinals have looked like a different team since their loss to the rebuilding Pittsburgh Panthers.  The loss to the Panthers seemed to put this team back on track under the leadership of new Head Coach Chris Mack.

Georgia Tech currently sits at 10-7, 1-2 in the ACC with losses to Virginia Tech and Clemson.  The Jackets are 5-1 ATS in their last six Saturday games and 7-2 ATS in their last nine versus the ACC. Georgia Tech is a plucky team that can keep this one close but the Cardinals have been playing to well to fall off against a team that is not as talented.  Chris Mack won’t allow them to come out flat.

Virginia Cavaliers at Duke Blue Devils -1.5

The Cameron Crazies will be on edge waiting for this marquee matchup with the unbeaten Virginia Cavaliers.  The uncertainty of Tre Jones would have most people leaning towards Virginia in this matchup.  Without the defense of Tre Jones, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome should have no problem running what has become and efficient Virginia attack. They have a 56% effective field goal percentage and own a potent 40% clip from behind the arc.

The Blue Devils will have Cam Reddish back on the court Saturday which will give them another shooter to rely on. The struggles of co-captain Jack White from behind the arc put the Blue Devils in a bad position Monday night against the Syracuse zone, the return of Reddish and he likely minutes increase for sharpshooting sophomore Alex O’Connell will open up the middle for RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson to do their work. 

The Virginia defense is the best in the country but they are going up against their stiffest competition to date.  Virginia Tech does not have the athletes that the Blue Devils do.  I love this Virginia team but the worst thing that could of happened leading into this game was a loss to Syracuse.  Barrett, Williamson and company will come out with something to prove and Virginia will not be able to keep up on the offensive end. Duke wins by five.

Other picks for Saturday

Indiana +8

Kansas -5.5

Cincinnati/ Wichita State Under 135.5

Missouri +5

Memphis -3.5

Dayton -3.5

Championship Week Picks

Pac 12: Utah Utes vs. Washington Huskies -5

The Pac 12 may not be heading to the College Football Playoff but a champion must still be crowned and a participant in the Rose Bowl.

Washington hopes to build off the big victory over rival Washington State in their regular season finale. Washington will have the advantage at QB with Jake Browning, who threw for 2,692 yards and 16 touchdowns during the season.  He will lead an offense that will look to jump out early on Utah.

The Huskies defense was able to hold a powerful Washington State offense to 15 points. The Utes don’t possess the offense to compete with Washington.

PicksWashington -5.5

Big 12: Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners -7.5

Let me set the scene.  Two hated rivals.  One looking to not only avenge their only loss but also give themselves a shot at the college football playoff.  The other with the chance to beat their rival twice and keep them out of the college football playoff. This game has ESPN 30 for 30 written all over it.

Kyler Murray has been as good as advertised all season.  He will keep that going against a stout Texas defense.  All season Murray has not been the problem.  The Oklahoma defense is going to the be issue in this game.  Texas QB Sam Ehlinger was impressive in their first matchup throwing for 314 yards and two touchdowns.  Texas is a tough matchup for the Sooners,  they are 6-0 ATS versus Oklahoma in their last six.  Oklahoma wins but its close.

PicksTexas +7.5

AAC: Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights -3.5

Mackenzie Milton’s injury season ending injury may be to much to overcome for the “National Champs”.  Memphis enters this game with thoughts of last years epic showdown in the AAC Championship game, losing by a touchdown in double overtime.  The Tigers are out for blood in this one, looking to end the UCF 24-game win streak and any hope for the Knights to make it into the College Football Playoff. 

Memphis will run the ball straight down the throats of the UCF defense, managing the clock and dominating the time of possession. Look for Memphis to stack the box and make unproven true freshman QB Darriel Mack Jr. make throws down field.  Even if Mack Jr. does play well it will still be a lot to overcome.  I like Memphis to cover the +5.5 and I may even look to the moneyline.

PicksMemphis +3.5

SEC: Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5 vs. Georgia Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have seen Tua in their nightmares for about a year now.  They will have a chance to face their fears on Saturday as they go into the SEC Championship.  

The betting public is going to look at Georgia’s loss to LSU and compare it to the domination Alabama showed against LSU.  I am looking at these two teams differently.  I see a Georgia team fighting for their life with a QB Jake Fromm that has no fear of Alabama. Georgia surrenders the 10th-fewest points per game at 17.2 and the 14th-fewest passing yards per game at 175.1. 

Alabama is a juggernaut of offense but their defense has shown holes this season. Georgia will come out and take an early lead and ride it until the 4th quarter where Tua makes the big plays necessary to overcome them.  This game is going to be a good one and a lot closer then the point spread is going to be. 

PicksGeorgia -13.5

ACC: Clemson Tigers -26.5 vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

I’m not wasting a lot of time on this one.  Pittsburgh is overmatched this one should be a beatdown of epic proportion.  Do I hope I am wrong? Yes.  But unlikely, Clemson rolls into the College Football Playoff. 

PicksClemson Tigers -26.5

Big 10: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes -14.5

Ohio State opened some eyes last week in their beatdown of rival Michigan last week. The Buckeyes defense finally showed up in the win against Michigan, but they still have to prove that they can consistently play at a high level. As good as the defense looked it has been Dwayne Haskins that has been playing at a NFL level.  He was second only to Gardner Minshew in passing yards this season, had five more touchdown passes than runner-up Will Grier, and torched the FBS’ top defense from Michigan for 396 passing yards, six passing TDs and 62 points in The Game.

Northwestern enters this matchup as over achievers in a matchup that does fit their strengths.  The Wildcats are 79th ranked passing defense in the country giving up 238 yards per game on average.  

The Buckeyes not only need to win this game but they have to show that they are a dominant force.  Urban Meyer won’t take his foot off the gas in this one. 

PicksOhio State -13.5