The boys had a rough week last Saturday, finishing just 2-4. However, now that we’re well into conference play, we’ve been able to start identifying some key trends and patterns that we’ll look to exploit in this week’s picks.
Pat: Arizona (-5) vs. Oregon State
The Wildcats are coming off a bad home loss to a depleted Oregon team on Thursday. Oregon State has been playing great basketball the last couple of weeks before finally stumbling at Arizona State Thursday night. This will be the second game in a brutal road trip for the Beavers, who will have a very tough time trying to get back on track against a more talented Arizona team that is desperate for a win.
Alex: Kansas State (-2.5) vs. TCU
The Kansas State Wildcats will be up for the challenge of slowing down the TCU Horned Frogs potent offense, which averages just over 80 points per game. The Horned Frogs just lost talented guard Jaylen Fisher to injury, which will make life harder for them on offense. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have been on a small winning streak in Big 12 conference play. After opening conference play with back to back losses versus Texas and Texas Tech, the Wildcats have bounced back and have won three straight games against Oklahoma, Iowa State, and West Virginia. Look for the Wildcats to continue their recent success in their conference by playing lock down defense.
Pat: TCU/Kansas State under 133
WIth both teams coming off of high scoring outings, this number is a little inflated. While Kansas State does have star stretch four Dean Wade back from injury, the Wildcats are still not a very good offensive team, ranking an abysmal 326th nationally in points per game. However, Kansas State is one of the nation’s top defensive squads, ranking 11th in the nation in scoring defense. TCU does average an impressive 80.4 points per game, but as Alex mentioned above, they recently lost star guard Jaylen Fisher for the year due to injury, so their scoring output will likely drop in Big 12 play. They will especially miss Fisher in this contest, as his role as a scorer and extra ball handler will be sorely missed against the suffocating Kansas State defense.
Alex: Michigan (-3.5) at Wisconsin
Michigan has been one of the best college teams in the country so far this season and are one of the only remaining unbeaten teams. Wisconsin, on the other hand, has had an inconsistent start to the season and has dropped four of their last five games. The Badgers are only 1-3 in Big Ten conference play and should struggle against a Michigan team that moves the ball well on offense and stifles teams on defense. Look for the Wolverines to continue their 17 game winning streak and to start the game off in a fast paced fashion.
Pat: Louisville/Georgia Tech under 135
Similar to the Kansas State/TCU game mentioned above, I feel this line is inflated due to recent results. Louisville was extremely impressive on offense in an 83-62 win at UNC last week, and then came home to put up 80 against Boston College on Wednesday. People still remember Georgia Tech’s impressive win over Syracuse last Saturday, but the Yellow Jackets are not a very good offensive team and will struggle to generate points against a more talented and athletic Louisville club. While the Cardinals are certainly capable of putting up 80+ in this one, I expect Josh Pastner to play a lot of zone in order to give Louisville some different looks and slow the game down. They had a similar game plan earlier this month when they hosted a very good Virginia Tech team, and the result was an ugly 52-49 game. Expect a similar close, ugly, and low-scoring game today.
Alex: Detroit (-2.5) vs. Oakland
Detroit should have an easy time picking up another win in front of their home crowd against an Oakland team that has lost two of its last three games. The Titans, led by explosive freshman guard Antoine Davis (27.7 ppg), boast an efficient offense and have multiple players that can score in a variety of ways. However, the key to their success in this game will be controlling the glass against a better rebounding team in the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. Also the Titans have been one of the best teams in college basketball against the spread thus far this season, with a 14-4 record. Look for them to continue their hot streak at home.