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Villanova +1/over 128 in Villanova/Ohio State
South Florida -16.5
Ohio/Iona over 144
Betting Process: I actually think it's weird betting the first week or two. College hoops is weird and you have people making a bunch of jumps in terms of minutes and roles. So for the first week I tend to go small and use a combo of KenPom's numbers vs Vegas number plus my own insight. Then come Thanksgiving tournament time, it's time to start really betting. I've tend to noticed that if a KenPom number is off the Vegas number by 5(ish) points it's worth looking into.
Unfortunately I'm writing this blog a bit later than I wanted to, because you could have grabbed Nova at +3. However, here we are on Wednesday afternoon ready to still take Nova. Ohio State is without Andre Wesson, who is wildly important to what OSU wants to do on the defensive side of the ball. They'll be playing more Duane Washington, who is an offensive threat. It's going to (at least in theory) change what OSU looks like on the floor. What I do think we might be able to take advantage of is Nova bringing Kaleb Wesson out of the post and defend.
Pick: Villanova +1, over 128
IUPUI is bad. That's the simple way to put it here. Throw in the fact that they lost head coach Jason Gardner in the summer after a DUI incident and you just have a weird spot all around. Again, this number was more beneficial earlier, which was USF at -15. I don't love taking big favorites, but again IUPUI is just so bad. Even without Alexis Yetna, USF's defense is for real. I'll trust them holding IUPUI and forcing turnover.
Pick: South Florida -16.5
I know, Iona and the over tends to be a public, square pick. But here's the thing, Iona is still looking to push tempo as much as possible and they want to shoot a ton of threes. Throw in they have high-major talent in Isaiah Washington and we'll take what we know early. Ohio will give up looks from three, they let St. Bonaventure shoot 20. Not to mention, Iona is BAD defensively.
Pick: Over 144
I'm actually a bit scared of this game, even if Merrimack can go in and smack Northwestern around. Even if I think Providence is actually undervalued right now. Why? It just seems too easy. I love what Providence is doing with moving White to coming off the bench and starting Duke/Pipkins/Reeves/Diallo around Young. They are keeping the lane open and shooting a bunch of threes (plus importantly, making them).We'll ride on what seems too easy early.
Pick: Providence -8