The Sooners are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games, including victories over Alabama, Texas, Kansas and West Virginia. With a litany of big victories under their belt they came out flat in their last matchup against Iowa State, sneaking by the Cyclones by only ten points and failing to cover the spread. I expect Lon Kruger’s bunch will come out to set the tone early on the road against the cellar dweller Kansas State. They will look to make quick work of a team that historically they have not had a lot of success against.
Oklahoma is not an offensive juggernaut, when they do score, they do it efficiently, ranking 31st in offensive efficiency. Austin Reaves, De’Vion Harmon and Brady Manek all average double figures and should be able to have their way with a less than stellar Kansas State defense that gives up 72 ppg and 46% shooting. In their first matchup of the year Oklahoma handled Kansas State winning 76-50 on January 19th. They were able to cover the spread while only shooting 11/21 from the free throw line. It was their top 20 ranked defense that shined forcing 23 Wildcat turnovers.
Kansas State has no offensive identity, because they don’t score. They average just 61 ppg with an effective field goal percentage of 47.6 on the season ranking them near the bottom. They don’t shoot three well (29%) and they can’t make anything from the free throw line (65%), their leading scorer is Nijuel Pack who averages 12 per game, he didn’t play in their first matchup with the Sooners but he will have a tough task of going against Reaves and Harmon, they will lock him down and stop any kind of K-State offensive push. The Wildcats don’t have any kind of home court advantage either, they are 3-12 ATS at Bramlage Coliseum.
Oklahoma is better in every facet of the game and will show it on Tuesday night. 10.5 points on the road is a lot but the Sooners have a defense that will hold K-State under 60 and Lon Kruger will take advantage of multiple mis-matches.
Play of the day: Oklahoma Sooners -10.5
Sam Houston State is red hot winning 13 of their last 14 games. They are an offensive juggernaut in the Southland conference, averaging 81 ppg in 2021. They are one of the faster teams in college basketball, ranking 64th in pace. They are a stellar unit from behind the arc shooting 36% as a team from three. Their offense is led by Zack Nutall, averaging 19 ppg. Nutall was dominant in their first game of the season, scoring 28 points.
The Lamar Cardinal’s offense has been less than stellar this season. They are averaging just 64 ppg this season. They are putrid from deep, shooting just 28% from three on the season, they do not have the firepower to stick with the Sam Houston State offense. Lamar can’t guard the three at all, giving up 39% shooting from deep. They are going to get picked apart by the Bearkats offense that thrives from deep.
Lamar has already been owned by Sam Houston State losing by 25 points earlier this season. The Cardinals have not been able to get anything going this season and have little to play for, Sam Houston State has the chance to still win the Southland Conference and are looking for a shot to make the NCAA tournament. The Bearkats will be too much to handle for Lamar, this is a double digit victory.
Play of the day: Sam Houston State Bearkats -9.5
The MAC doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being one of the most entertaining conferences in college basketball. There are a lot of high paced teams that can be very unpredictable. The Kent State Golden Flashes are one of those teams that are a lot of fun to watch. They are also a very profitable team going 10-5-1 ATS this season.
The Golden Flashes are led by forward Danny Pippen, averaging 20 ppg along with 9 rpg, both leading the team. Pippen leads an offense that is extremely efficient, they are a top 80 team in offensive efficiency . They also have an effective shooting percentage of 52.2%. The Golden Flashes crush teams on the inside controlling the boards ranking 15th in the nation in rebound per game. They are a dominant force on the interior and should control that aspect in their matchup with the Broncos
The Western Michigan Broncos had their two game win streak ended by Buffalo this weekend, getting smashed by the Bulls 86-54. The Broncos have not been able to handle the elite of the MAC conference. Buffalo, Akron, Ohio and Kent State have made easy work of the Broncos in every matchup. Their previous matchup with Kent State ended in a 26-point thrashing at the hands of the Golden Flashes. Kent State guard Mike Nuga led the way in their last matchup scoring 26 points. Nuga has been out with an injury but while he has been out Pippen has stepped up to the plate.
Kent State is 4-0 ATS in their last four road games. They should continue that dominance on Tuesday night against a Western Michigan team that will have no answer to Danny Pippen. Kent State has a massive advantage in every category. Even if Mike Nuga misses this game the Golden Flashes are in a different class then the Broncos. Take Kent State by double digits.
Play of the day: Kent State Golden Flashes -9.5
The Jacksonville Dolphins are losers of 7 straight games. They have lost the last five games by an average of 13.4 ppg. Jacksonville is a dumpster fire on offense, averaging just 66 ppg and average a turnover in 20% of their offensive possessions. The Dolphins offense doesn’t get much from deep, shooting just 31% from three. Jacksonville’s only offense comes from forward Dontarius James averaging 17 ppg. Even with the offense of James the Jacksonville Dolphin are ranked 337th in the nation in offensive efficiency.
The Lipscomb Bison looked like they were turning things around in early January getting two straight victories over Bellarmine. They followed that up with a 4-3 record, sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Bison have a dynamic backcourt tandom in KJ Johnson and leading scorer Romeao Ferguson. Ferguson and Johnson both shoot over 44% from three, as a team the Bison shoot 37% from behind the arc. They are archored in the middle by Ahsan Asadullah, averagin 13 ppg, 7 rpg and a team leading 3 apg.
Lipscomb’s defense is not stellar, but it doesn’t take a great defensive unit to keep Jacksonville in check. The Dolphins don’t do anything well. They don’t shoot well from three and are one of the worst teams in the nation at the free throw line. Lipscomb’s offense isn’t elite other than their long range shooting but they do rank 105th in effective field goal shooting which is enough to put pressure on a Dolphins team that is unable to put the ball in the basket. The Bison are the better team and all tehy have to do is stop Dontarius James to be successful. Easy cover for Lipscomb.
Play of the day: Lipscomb Bison -5
Colorado has the leadership of one of the best guards in the country McKinley Wright. Wright has been amazing this season averagin 14 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. He has a great backcourt mate in D’Shawn Schwartz who is shooting 40% from three on the season. As a team Colorado is shooting 38% on the season which is tied for the best mark in the Pac12. The Buffaloes have a solid interior presence with Evan Battey, who had a stellar performance against Stanford in their first meeting scoring 13 points and adding 12 boards. Colorado’s defense has had its issues defending the three, luckily for them they are facing the worst three point shooting team in the Pac12.
Since the loss of Daejon Davis the Stanford Cardinal have had an issue turning the ball over. They are the worst in the Pac12 giving the ball away nearly 20% of the time. Freshman Zaire Williams has come back to the team in a limited role as he recovers from an injury. The young forward was great against Colorado in their first game, putting up 17 points in 33 minutes. Without him the Stanford offense has struggled, losing 5 points per 100 possessions with him out. Oscar Da Silva and Jaden Delaire have both stepped up in the absence of Williams, to find the offense they will have to lean on their frontcourt and play the slow game.
Colorado is an efficient offense with a point guard advantage. The Cardinal without Daejon Davis have not been the same offense. They don’t have the guards to handle the pressure of an elite level defense. Bryce Wills return will help the offense avoid the turnover bug, but they still have a lot of issues if he can’t play a full allotment of minutes. The Buffaloes will take care of business on defense and their offense is efficient enough to put up points.
Play of the day: Colorado Buffaloes Pick
Big Ten basketball is about as unpredictable as any conference on any night. On Monday night we get a matchup between the rising Ohio State Buckeyes and the upset minded Maryland Terrapins.
The Terps are literally a box of chocolates, never knowing what you are going to get. They feature wins over Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, all are great individual wins in a season where they are just 10-9 overall. Maryland has a lot of talent, they are led by Junior guard Eric Ayala who is coming off of his best game of the year putting up 23 points in their loss to Penn State Friday night. The Terps were not impressive in their their loss Penn State, they only put up 50 points in a matchup with a weaker defensive unit in the Nittany Lions. They will have to find more points if they want keep up with one of the most efficient offenses in the country.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are on a roll. The Buckeyes have established themselves as the top of the food chain in the loaded Big Ten winning 7 of 8 and sitting just behind Illinois and Michigan for the top overall record in the conference. The Buckeyes have a dynamic connection between EJ Liddell and Duane Washington, either one has the ability to take over a game at any moment. The offense has been on a tear scoring at least 74 points per game in four straight, if they are able to reach 70 that could be well out of the range for the Terps as they live up to their namesake with one of the slowest paces in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes are able to run their offense through EJ Liddell in the post. Maryland won’t have a big that can hang with him, they will be forced to pack the defense in, allowing the Ohio State motion offense to work around the athletic Maryland wings. Ohio State has been efficient on offense ranking top five in the country in offensive efficiency. Maryland’s experience and athletes will keep this one tight but Ohio State is awesome from the free throw line and should lock this one down in the end.
Play of the day: Ohio State -3.5
A matchup between two of the most confusing teams in college basketball will take place on Wednesday night with the Seton Hall Pirates face off against the Providence Friars. This Big East showdown could be a potential eliminator for a shot at a birth in the NCAA tournament.
Seton Hall is coming off of one of the toughest stretches of any team in the country. Playing Villanova, Creighton and Villanova over their current three game losing streak. The Pirates have been a predictable team when it comes to SU wins and losses. They have beaten the teams they should and lost to the teams they should. With no marquee wins on their resume they cannot afford another let down to a mid-tier Big East foe. They have done most of their damage offensively this season by penetrating the paint and making things happen. Currently they rank in the top 25 in offensive efficiency and effective shooting percentage. They get to the foul line a lot and shoot at a high percentage.
Providence is coming off of a loss to Georgetown, where they blew a ten point second half lead. The Friars lean on the two man show of guard David Duke and center Nat Watson, both average double digits and take over a large amount of the usage rate on the offense. In the first matchup with Seton Hall they were able to combine for 41 points and 21 rebounds. The Friars are a strange statistical team, they rank 199th in effective field goal percentage, yet they rank top 50 in adjusted offense according to Kenpom. They have the ability to put the ball in the hoop but they will be without a key component in point guard Jerad Bynum who sliced up the Seton Hall defense last time they played scoring 9 points and adding 8 assists.
Providence was able to defeat Seton Hall in their first matchup of the year because they shot 9-18 from three and the Friars had Jerad Bynum. Seton Hall has issues defending the three but without Bynum the Friars won’t be able to penetrate the defense as easiliy which should allow the Pirates guards to stay home on the shooters. Seton Hall is in need of a win and they will lean on their star Sandro Mamukelishvli. This game has a -1.5 spread, I would lean going with the spread but I figure why not just go ML to be safe.
Play of the day: Seton Hall ML (-130)
Two middle tier Missouri Valley teams face off in what looks to be a defensive minded affair between the Bradley Braves and the Valparaiso Crusaders.
The Bradley Braves enter this contest on a 3-game conference losing streak, falling short of taking down conference favorite Loyola-Chicago in a two game set and dropping a shocking game to Illinois State in a spot where they were clearly looking ahead. They have had time to process the loss and now get a matchup with a low scoring Valpo team. Bradley ranks 81st in defensive efficiency in the country and will stifle a Valpo offense that has scored under 69 points in 4 of 5 games.
On the offensive side of the ball Bradley will have the best player on the court in Senior forward Elijah Childs averagin 14 points and 7 rebounds per game. He is a do it all player on the offensive end and should be able to carry the load for the Braves. The emergence of Junior guard Terry Nolan Jr. has been a big part of establishing the Braves offense along with Childs, Nolan has been shooting a respectable 35% from three for the season. Bradley hopes to have Ja’Shon Henry backin the lineup, his 11 ppg and 60% shooting have been missed over the last three games. If he is not able to go they should still be able to muster enough offense to grab an early lead and utilize their defense to hold down a Valpo team that has no one outside of Sophmore forward Ben Krikke that has been reliable on offense.
Bradley’s defense will be too much for the struggling Crusader offense. Bradley doesn’t allow you to score inside and their perimeter athletes are just better than what Valpo can bring to the table. If you like a low scoring affair this one will be for you, I would think this game is going to stay under the 130 point mark but I feel more confident in a dominant effort from a Bradley squad looking to reestablish themselves in the Missouri Valley.
Play of the day: Bradley Braves -5.5
The top team in the MAC the Toledo Rockets are in action on Tuesday night against a surprise competitor in the MAC East the Miami-OH Redhawks.
The Toledo Rockets are 8-1 in the conference averaging 79 ppg in 2021. The Rockets are putting the ball in the hope consistently and quickly. Their 79 ppg rank them 25th in the nation and have an effective FG% of 53.5%. They have multiple scorers that make life tough for opposing defenses. Their leading scorer is Marron Jackson who is averaging 17 ppg and is coming off of a 31 point game against Akron.
Toledo will have to deal with the red hot Miami-OH Redhawks who have won three straight games and put up 85, 96 and 81 over that span. Much like their counterparts the Redhawks have been lighting it up from three. They are second in the MAC in 3-pt % at 38% (31st in the nation). The Redhawks are led by guard Dae Dae Grant, averaging 13.4 per game and coming off of a career high 27 points in their latest victory over Eastern Michigan.
These two teams are both on fire offensively. Toledo has especially been an over machine on the road with a 6-1 record to the over away from home. Miami-OH has been 4-2 to the over at home on the season and have hit the over in 3 straight games. While neither team is highly touted for their pace they are both offensive efficient and shoot the three at a high level. This game should be set around 150, it currently sits at 146 which gives some great value for Tuesday’ action. I am rolling with the over in a game that should stay competitive.
Play of the day: Over 146
Florida Gators at LSU Tigers -2.5
Florida’s had a disappointing start 2019-2020 campaign. Their loss to Missouri on January 11th was not only bad, it was downright embarrassing. Florida has bounced back with two straight victories and covers versus Ole Miss and Auburn. The Florida defense has been outstanding all season and they were able to shut down Auburn the entire game holding the undefeated Auburn Tigers to just 47 points.
LSU is currently on a six game win streak, currently being undefeated in the SEC. The Tigers will face their stiffest competition within the league.
Florida’s offense has not been great most of the season but they have seemed to find it in SEC play averaging 80 points per game in their five games. Florida will be able to cause problems for the LSU offense with Kerry Blackshear and 6-10 freshman Omar Payne both controlling the paint. Florida has found their mojo as they have begun to play well as all the new pieces are beginning to fit together. Mike White has found the right mix that works. The Gators were a top ten team to begin the season and they will begin their climb back up the NCAA rankings.
Pick: FloridaGators +2.5
Texas Tech Red Raiders at TCU Horned Frogs +3
Texas Tech has the best player on the court in guard Jahim’us Ramsey. Ramsey will have trouble tonight versus Jamie Dixon’s TCU defense. Known for their tight man to man coverage should be a problem for Ramsey but the Red Raiders have more to offer on the offensive end than just their freshman guard. Kyler Edwards, Davide Moretti and Chris Clarke are all offensive options that can be a problem for the Horned Frogs.
The Red Raiders have been streaky all season but have wins over Louisville, Iowa State and Kansas State were all wins that show the potential they have to take over the Big12. Texas Tech will have the advantage on the offensive end, the key will be to keep TCU off of the boards. TCU is just 4-7 ATS the spread at home in 2019-2020, Texas Tech is also 5-0-1 in their last six versus the Horned Frogs.
Texas Tech is in need of another signature win and their ability to utilize multiple players on the offensive end should be enough to cover.
Picks: Texas Tech Red Raiders -3