East Region Breakdown

Top Seeds

  1. Duke
  2. Michigan State
  3. LSU
  4. Virginia Tech

Sleeper team to win: Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech as a #4 seed probably isn’t considered a sleeper but they are being overlooked.  The return of Justin Robinson is going to help with the depth of the Hokies.  With Robinson being hurt Kerry Blackshear was able to develop into a star.  His size and ability to handle the ball if caught on the perimeter is a tough matchup for any team.  With a first-round matchup against an undersized SLU team and a potential matchup with an underwhelming Mississippi State team. Virginia Tech will not have an overwhelming matchup until they face the #1 overall seed Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16.

*Maryland has all the ability to steal this bracket if they can control the ball.  Can’t expect them to change their game though overnight.

Potential first round upset: Liberty and Yale

Yale has the size you don’t usually see in an Ivy League team. They also have potential NBA threat Miye Oni leading their offense.  LSU has all the talent to make a huge run in this tournament but you can’t ignore the distraction of losing your coach at this point in the season.

Liberty was able to overcome the favored Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun Championship game.  They get a matchup with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.  The Bulldogs have some high level talent in Quinndary Weatherspoon but have not shown the ability to win big games during the season.  Liberty will not back down in this matchup.

Who is going to win it: Duke

Michigan State got a tough draw for a team that should have been considered for a #1 seed. Instead they were put into a bracket with the number one overall seed, they SEC regular season champion LSU and a potential matchup with a veteran led Louisville team. The Spartans are finally healthy and playing at a high level.  They should be able to coast to the elite 8 to matchup with a Duke team that is going to be tested big time by a fully healthy Virginia Tech team. Duke/Michigan State will be a great game that will matchup veterans versus youth.  Cassius Winston will have a tough time with the defense of Tre Jones and Jordan Goldwire.  The Blue Devils will lock down on defense and find themselves in the final four.

Second Round Picks

Duke

UCF

Liberty

UCF

Maryland

LSU

Lousiville

Michigan State

Big Ten Tournament Preview and Predictions

Michigan State walked away with the regular season title after a dominate second half performance against rival Michigan Saturday night.  Sunday the final regular season games took place finalizing the seeds for what could be the funniest tournament of all the power fives.  The ACC is top heavy, the Big12 is a three-team race, anyone can beat anyone in this tournament.  Let’s break it down.

Sleeper- Indiana Hoosiers

Most may not remember that the Hoosiers entered the season with very high expectations.  They have slowly begun to return to form.  With the two man punch of Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan Indiana has two studs they can lean on during big moments.  The Hoosiers also got a favorable draw against a reeling Ohio State team and potentially matching up with Michigan State whom they defeated twice during the regular season.

What to watch for- Returning Nick Ward

Michigan State showed what they are made of while dealing with multiple injuries during the regular season.  Kenny Goin and Xavier Tillman stepped up in the absence of Nick Ward.  The Spartans will welcome back Ward for this tournament.  If he plays to his ability this team has a shot to steal a #1 seed.

Opening Round

Nebraska over Rutgers– Nebraska was an early season darling in the Big Ten. The injury to Isaac Copeland derailed what could have been a promising season.  Still the Cornhuskers will have the best player on the court in James Palmer Jr. Feeding off the momentum of Sunday’s shocking comeback versus Iowa should propel Nebraska to an opening round victory.

Northwestern over Illinois– Illinois made a nice run mid-season showing the potential of Brad Underwood’s team.  I prefer Northwestern in this matchup mainly because of their ability to handle the ball.  Northwestern is top five in the Big Ten in turnovers per game which is the bread and butter of the Illini.  Northwestern will control the tempo and Vic Law will have a big game.

Second Round

Indiana over Ohio State-

Indiana has to win, and they will versus an Ohio State team that has looked bad without Kyle Wesson.  The Hoosiers will have too much for the Buckeyes.

Maryland over Nebraska-

Maryland has a problem with turnovers.  They will have to take care of the ball to have a chance in the big dance. Locking down Nebraska’s James Palmer will be a problem, but the size of Maryland will be too much for the Cornhuskers.

Penn State over Minnesota-

Penn State has turned their season around after a rough start and will continue it against a Minnesota was barely able to get by a struggling early season Nittany Lions team. Penn State will have to keep Jordan Murphy off the glass, if they contain him they roll.

Iowa over Northwestern-

Iowa needs this win, they will score to much for Northwestern to handle. 

Third Round

Michigan State over Indiana-

Cassius Winston will lead his veteran team to a revenge victory over an Indiana team that surprisingly handled the Spartans twice during the season.  Michigan State will also have a lift from the returning Nick Ward.

Maryland over Wisconsin-

Maryland will have a tall task beating the slow paced Wisconsin Badgers.  The Badgers are to inconsistent on the offensive end, their inability to hit free throws will do them in down the stretch of the game.

Purdue over Penn State-

Carson Edwards versus Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Josh Reaves will be a very fun matchup.  Purdue will have to much ancillary pieces for Penn State to get the win. 

Michigan over Iowa-

I’m not a believer in Michigan but their defense is too good for an Iowa team that that will be forced to take a lot of contested jumpers.

Semi-Final

Michigan State over Maryland

Maryland has the talent to win this game.  Unfortunately, their turnover problems will return in this semi-final matchup with the veteran Michigan State Spartans.  Kenny Goins outside shooting will help pull one of the young bigs from the paint opening up lanes for Cassius Winston.  Michigan State wins big.

Purdue over Michigan

Purdue’s early season defeat against Michigan will be in the minds of the Boilermakers.  Carson Edwards will come up. Big against Michigan early.  The Wolverines are a great defensive team, but they have problems with putting together points when they are down early.  Boilermakers make it to the final.

Finals

Michigan State over Purdue

These two teams split the regular season with both home teams winning. Cassius Winston will solidify himself as the MVP of the tournament while Nick Ward will be handled Matt Haarms.  The Spartans are too deep for the Boilermakers.  Michigan State wins the Big 10 Tournament.

NCAAF Week 11 Pick ATS

Season Record: 25-25

Vanderbilt Commodores at Missouri Tigers -17

The Missouri Tigers are coming off their biggest win of the year dominating the Florida Gators last week.  This week they get the Vanderbilt Commodores whom create rather different matchup.

The Commodores can keep up with the Missouri offense, Kyle Shurmur brings a bigger threat in the passing game then the dismal effort shown by Felipe Franks last week. The Commodores can also run the ball effectively, running  for a season-high – against FBS teams – 250 yards with four touchdowns in the win over Arkansas a few weeks ago, led by a 176-yard day from Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

This is just to many points to for a Missouri team that loves to let down its fans.  I see Mizzou winning this game but 17 points seems like to much.

PicksVanderbilt Commodores +17

Maryland Terrapins at Indiana Hoosiers -1.5

Indiana has lost four straight games including a rather embarrassing effort against Minnesota. The Indiana defense has given up over 150 yards rushing in each of its at four games.  When the Terrapin can run the ball, they can win.

The Terrapins also have the ability to cause turmoil on the defensive end. With a suspect Indiana passing game going against a strong secondary, I see turnovers for the Hoosiers.

PicksMaryland Terrapins +1.5

Ohio State -4 at Michigan State

If you just went off of analyst opinions you would think the Ohio State Buckeyes are at .500 or worse.  The Buckeyes sit at 8-1, still technically in the running for a shot at the College Football Playoff.  A win over a strong conference foe could be just the ticket to get them back on track.

Overshardowed by the negatives has been the terrific season by Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. He set the OSU single-season record for completions against Nebraska and can break the single-season yardage mark with 278 against MSU. The Spartans, usually known for their stingy defense actuallly rank 98th in the country in pass defense.

Haskins will be to much for Michigan State, the Spartans will not be able to produce enoiugh on the offensive end to compete.  Ohio States defense is bad but they don’t have to be great this weekend to cover.

PicksOhio State -4

UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils -13.5

I don’t try to have many trends in my College Football bets.  Mainly I just look at the lines I like and go with it.  But I have seemed to find a nice niche in fading the UCLA Bruins. Last weeks Oregon game was easy money and I look to see the same outcome this week.

Two teams going in two different directions.  It’s been a tale of two diffrerent coaches, while Chip Kelly has disappointed in his first season, Herm Edwards has already exceeded expectations.  Arizona State has more weapons and have been tough at home.  Look for the Sun Devils to roll.

PicksArizona State -13.5

 

Other Picks:

Kentucky -5.5

Purdue -11.5

Ole Miss/ Texas A&M Under 67

NCAAF Picks ATS- Week 7

4-5 record last week was not ideal coming off a winning week, but it wasn’t a complete disaster.  This week seems like it has some trap games but I’m looking at a few games that are hard to ignore. Record last two weeks sits at 8-7

Central Florida -5 at Memphis

This game is going to be fun.  Two teams that don’t seem to worry to much about defense.  This game seems like it will be a trap for most sports bettors.  UCF has been leaky to say the least against the run, they now welcome the nations top underrated runningback in Darrell Henderson. Henderson, the nation’s leading rusher with 934 yards and averaging close to 12 yards per carry.

Memphis holds a great home field advantage in this AAC matchup.  The world is waiting for UCF to fall and this game is a target for most people.  I can see a lot of people taking the upset in this one, but I don’t see it.  Memphis will be hyped up and ready to play, look for them to jump out to an early lead and then watch them give it away.  UCF will stack the box to slow down Henderson.  You slow down Henderson you beat Memphis. Just ask Tulane.

Over the last three games against Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU, the Florida defense has allowed no touchdown passes and came up with four picks.

PicksCentral Florida -5

Florida -7 at Vanderbilt

Does anyone remember when Florida dropped its season opener against Kentucky? If you say yes you are a liar.  Wins over LSU and Mississippi State have put the Gators back in the top 25, making them a serious threat again in the SEC.

The Gators secondary has been great, over the last three games against Tennessee, Mississippi State and LSU, the Florida defense has allowed no touchdown passes and came up with four picks.  Vandy has to throw to win.  Florida will run the ball and control the clock, while their defense shuts down Vandy.

PicksFlorida -7

Rutgers at Maryland -24.5

I am going to keep this one simple.  Rutgers was blown out by Illinois and Kansas and this isn’t basketball.  Rutgers is not a good team and they are going to Maryland.  Maryland takes the lead early and continues to pound it down the Scarlet Knights throat.

This is homecoming and Maryland is way better the Rutgers.  I tend to stay away from big spreads but this one is impossible to ignore.

PicksMaryland -24.5

Michigan State at Penn State -13.5

Michigan State has been bad against the pass. Opponents are averaging a ridiculous 305.2 yards per game through the air (122nd overall). Penn State QB Trace McSorley will look to pick apart the Spartans secondary.  Michigan State will stop the run as they have done most of the season but the dual threat McSorley will force them to play back and he will use his legs to move the ball.

Penn State is to good offensively for Michigan State to stop them, plus the Nittany Lions are at home.  Two touchdowns seems like a lot in a matchup of solid programs but Penn State being at home and James Franklin’s tendency to never take his foot off the gas seems like a car crash for Michigan State.

PicksPenn State -13.5

Other Picks

Western Michigan -14.5

Nebraska +4.5

Texas -14

Mizzou +28

Miami -6.5

Texas A&M -2.5

Colorado +7.5