CBB Picks ATS 2.23.19

Tennessee Volunteers at LSU Tigers

Tennessee was primed to make a statement last week in Lexington. They had control of the SEC and could bury the “mighty” Kentucky Wildcats.  Instead they saw an end to their 20-game winning streak and found themselves just one game up the aforementioned Wildcats and their opponents on Saturday the LSU Tigers.

This is a matchup of offensive teams both ranking in the top ten in scoring in all of college basketball.  The difference on Saturday will be the ability of either team to establish themselves on the defensive end.  In LSU’s loss to Florida on Wednesday night the Tigers were unable to adjust to a Florida that tried to slow down the pace. If Tennessee is able to establish a slower pace and dominate the ball control LSU will not be able to adjust.

We have seen the Volunteers win scrappy games when they have to.   I like Jordan Bone holding Tremont Waters in check and the Volunteers to prevail on the road.  I’m not going to worry about last week or the Rick Barnes curse.  Give me the Volunteers in a huge SEC game.

Pick: Tennessee -1

Ohio State Buckeyes at Maryland Terrapins

Every week I look at Maryland and see a potential second weekend team.  It could be my love for the traditional big that you really only see in college basketball.  Bruno Fernando is a throwback to the basketball I watched as a kid.  Throw it to the big man and impose your will.  The sophomore center enjoyed his matchup in Columbus putting up 13 point and 15 rebounds.  He will be on the attack early against Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson whom was no match in the first meeting.  If Wesson gets into foul trouble the deficiencies of Ohio State’s depth will show.

Neither team will bring a potent offensive attack, but if Maryland is able to avoid a sluggish start that they are known for they should be able to coast to an easy victory at home.  They also have to find a way to cut down on their turnovers.  If they play smart and feed Fernando early it will open up looks for the slick shooting freshman guard Aaron Wiggins whom has hit 9 of 18 from behind the arc over the teams last 3 games. 

Maryland is 3-0 ATS in their last three home games.  Give me Maryland to cover. Take care of the ball!

Pick: Maryland -6.5

Duke Blue Devils at Syracuse Orange

We all know Duke without Zion Williamson is going to cause some problems.  What is being ignored is that a healthy Tre Jones is back in the lineup for the Blue Devils.  In the first matchup his injury forced the Blue Devils to run the point with RJ Barrett and company.  With Jones as the helm Barrett will be free to work inside the Syracuse zone.  His ability to create at the top of the key will be a huge factor.  I assume Coach K will utilize one of his big’s in Zion’s spot, while that may be the game plan to start don’t be surprised to see a lot of sharp shooting sophomore Alex O’Connell. 

Syracuse shot lights out in the first matchup, Frank Howard will have the defense of Tre Jones hounding him all night which will lead to more turnovers not allowing the Orange to set their press.  Duke has the superior athletes even without Zion.  If utilized correctly they should cover the spread.

Pick: Duke -4.5

Other games I like:

Illinois/Penn State Under 145.5

MO State/ Indiana State Under 131.5

Purdue -5

Marquette -3

Texas +3.5

Kansas State -10.5

SLU +6.5

NCAAB Picks 2.15.19

Clemson Tigers at Louisville Cardinals -4.5, Under 131.5

Louisville enter this game on the wrong side of one of the biggest and most televised come backs of the season. The Cardinals came out on fire against the highly rated Blue Devils but were unable to handle the late pressure and dynamic offensive weapons.  They face a different challenge on Saturday with the Clemson Tigers in need of a marquee victory to put themselves back in contention for the NCAA tournament.

Like Louisville, Clemson is coming off a weekday loss to the Miami Hurricanes.  The loss brought an end to the Tigers four game win streak which saw them reemerge as a potential contender in the top heavy ACC. 

Chris Mack has proven his toughness as a coach and his team will back him up on Saturday. Clemson, despite being 21st in scoring defense, has their struggles with perimeter teams as they rank a dismal 279th in three-point field goal percentage defense (35.9 percent) this season. This will be a slow-paced game that will be controlled by the superior strength of Louisville’s Dwayne Sutton and Jordan Nwora.  I like the Cardinals to cover and the under

Maryland Terrapins at Michigan Wolverines -6

First instinct says that the Michigan Wolverines are getting to many points against a Maryland team that has taken two straight from Nebraska and the red-hot Purdue Boilermakers.  The difference for Maryland will be the defensive juggernaut Michigan.  John Teske and company will look to force the ball out of the hands of Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith, packing the defense on the interior and force the guards to make plays.

Michigan is 15-0 at home, Maryland has while Maryland is 0-18 on the road against top 25 teams.  Michigan is 9-1 ATS after a straight up loss. I see Maryland struggling on the road against causing a double-digit loss.

Tennessee Volunteers +3 at Kentucky Wildcats

Despite Tennessee’s record their still seems to be some debate about whether they are at the top of the SEC pecking order.  Entering this game as a 3-point dog seems like a bit of a surprise. The Volunteers will bring their veterans into a hostile environment that they have seen before.

On the season, the Volunteers are fifth in the nation with 85.4 point per game, while also just allowing 68.5 points per contest. They are also efficient with their shots, making them even more dangerous.  Tennessee is seventh nationally with a high 57.0 effective field goal percentage.

The Wildcats have made big improvements since their beatdown on opening night. They will be a force to reckon with in March but for now this Tennessee team is on a mission to dominate the SEC.  Grant Williams will be the player to watch, Kentucky will have no answer for him on Saturday.  Bet the Volunteers, consider the moneyline.

Other games:

Auburn -9.5

Drake -5         

Virginia Tech/ Pittsburgh over 133

UCF/ Memphis under 150