NCAAB Play of the Day: Stanford Cardinal vs California Golden Bears

The Pac 12 tournament gets started tomorrow in Las Vegas and the first matchup that intrigued me is the same one that we enjoyed on Super Bowl Sunday.  That game saw the Cardinal fall apart down the stretch winning the game but blowing the 10 points spread in the final three minutes.  The Cardinal are losers of four straight, mainly due to their star center Oscar de Silva.  The Cardinal leading scorer should be active for this game and he has been dominant in their first two meetings with the Golden Bears scoring 23 and 24 in those two victories. The Cardinal will also have star freshman Ziaire Williams who missed both games against California this year. Williams will bring more trouble for a California defense that gives up a lot of easy buckets in the paint. 

The California Bears lean on their outside shooting, Matt Bradley and Grant Antevich both shoot over 35% from deep, while Andre Kelly anchors the middle.  The California offense will have their hands full against Stanford who ranks 31st in th antion in defensive efficiency.  The addition of the length that Zaire Williams brings should make it a miserable night for the Golden Bears.  Stanford should be fully healthy for the first time in a while and their depth and defensive efficiency will be way too much for California.  The opening line of – 6 for Stanford seems like it is biased on the recent losses for Stanford rather than the complete talent mismatch.  

Play of the day: Stanford Cardinal – 6

NCAAF Picks Oct 19

Houston Cougars at UConn Huskies +22

The Huskies are fade worthy every single week.  This week is no different.  The Houston Cougars saw themselves potentially on the verge of pulling off an upset of a top 25 team until they gave up 17 points and the lead to Cincinnati in the 4thquarter.

Heading into a matchup with UConn, Cougar’s QB Clayton Tune should be able to find his grove pretty easily (if healthy).  Houston was able to move the ball pretty well versus a stout Cincinnati defense until their collapse.  If Tune is healthy, he should be able to dominate on the offensive end. 

UConn playing at home which should give them a bump, but this is still UConn.  Money is coming in on the Huskies which has already dropped this by a half a point.  I just believe the Cougars will play with a fire after their tough loss last week. They jump out early and run the score up. 

Pick: Houston Cougars -22

Oregon State Beavers at California Golden Bears Total: 51.5

California is coming off a much-needed bye week, previously losing a tough 17-7 game versus Pac12 powerhouse Oregon.  The Bears are still without Quarterback Chase Garbers, they will again look to Devon Modster to carry the Golden Bears offense.  California’s defense will have to be the star on Saturday, Oregon State QB Jake Lutton has been lighting up the sky with 1400 yards, 14 touchdowns and just one interception on the season.

California has gone 4-0 in unders at home and 10-1 on unders in their last 11 conference games.   I expect California to win this game at home, that means it will have to be a low scoring affair.  Cal doesn’t have the offense to compete with Oregon State, but their defense at home is too good.  Cal wins 26- 18.

Pick: Under 51.5

Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers -3

Virginia is looking to get their groove back after two straight losses versus Notre Dame and Miami, relinquishing their lead in the ACC Coastal Division.  What’s been the problem?  The offensive line’s inability to handle the pass rush.  That should not be the same problem heading into their matchup with the Duke Blue Devils.  

Duke has been red hot offensively against the weaker opponents on the schedule, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina A&T, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.  Losing rather easily to the Alabama and Pittsburgh. Duke was not able to throw the ball well in their two losses.  They will have to be able to throw against Virginia, who ranks 11thin the country against the run.  

This is the time to buy low on Virginia.  Only a three-point spread at home against a team that has not shown the ability to handle real competition.  The concerns about injuries in the secondary for Virginia will have people worried about the recency bias of Duke’s offense.  Virginia will have the use of #1 wide receiver Hasise Dubois, which means they will be at full force on the offensive end.  

Three points at home for the top of the ACC Coastal Division.  Give me the Cavaliers all day.  

Pick: Virginia -3

Other Games I’m leaning

Florida -5

Temple +9