If you are in New Jersey and looking for a book to bet with this season, check out PointsBet.com. If you're in NJ, sign up with code BARSTOOL and when you deposit your first $10, get $100 in Bonus Bets.
YTD: 48-34-3 (this is getting terrifying)
NC State -4
Over 157.5 Nova/St. Joe's
Some things: We're officially done with the tournaments and I sure miss them already. We really need more day time hoops. So here we are and thankfully we have some unreal games this week to keep us entertained before the schedule weakens with finals happening. The lines comes from our friends at PointsBet (taking these at about in the middle of the night as I work on this thanks to a non-sleeping infant). These will be posted a few times a week as the schedule permits and there's games I want to gamble on and enough of them. If there's any drastic news that changes something I'll update the blog or post something on my Twitter (barstoolreags). Let's hoop and get rich.
I know Florida has been bad to start the year, however my dumb brain is still bullish on them. Hell, I even like this Butler team. Everything is saying to take Butler at home. But, again, dumb brain here. Butler isn't going to kill you with threes. They want to play in the paint and Florida's defense has been the one consistent thing they've had. So I actually trust them being able to et stops. It ultimately comes down to being able to score, which is a fear for Florida, The other thing is both of these teams play slow, limiting possessions, I'll take the points.
Pick: Florida +4.5
First things first, it's so dumb this game is at the same time as Baylor playing in the Big 12 title game, something I wish we could fix. Then there's the fact that Arizona is banged up coming into this game. Nico Mannion and Josh Green both haven't practiced this week. Stone Gettings is already ruled out for the game. Throw in that Baylor, which typically runs that amoeba zone, hasn't run it really at all this year can rely on that to throw freshmen off and I love Baylor in this spot.
Pick: Baylor -5
Yeah, this is probably a trap but fuck it. Let's get weird. How can you trust St. John's to score in this game? Yes, Press Virginia is no longer a thing, but West Virginia is just playing damn good defense still. They aren't forcing turnovers, they are just walling up around the rim, ranking 14th in effective field goal percentage defensively. St. John's is 232nd in the country in 2pt shooting percentage and they are 317th in 3PA/FGA. That's not a great recipe.
Pick: WVU -4
Syracuse stinks, that's nothing new. It's really been every year since Tyler Ennis was hitting game-winners at Pitt. So why do we like them here? Well, I don't think Georgia Tech has some massive home court advantage and they don't have Jose Alverado. Did you know that Georgia Tech was one of the worst shooting teams in the country? Of course you did! It's Georgia Tech! Stinker of a game which means there's money to be made.
Pick: Syracuse +3
The most heated rivalry on the Triangle - or the one that everyone forgets about. NC State giving just 4 to a bad Wake Forest team? What's going on here? I love Markell Johnson - NC State's point guard to push tempo and State has a top-10 offense in the country. Wake wants to run you off the 3pt line, which is fine for NC State, they want to get to the rim. Oh, Wake also turns the ball over a ton while NC State wants to force turnovers and apply pressure. I'll take NC State with Wake coming back from California and getting blown out at Penn State.
Pick: NC State -4
Fred Hoiberg will be fine at Nebraska, however this team is BAD. They also just lost Samir Curtis to transfer earlier this week, so here they are going on the road to their rival and only getting 11.5? Projected score is Creighton winning by 12 so we got the hook! That's a win. The only thing Nebraska does well on defense is not foul, which is great and all except Creighton is going to run with the guards they have and launch threes. I still love this trio of guards Creighton has in Ty-Shon Alexander, Mitch Ballock and Marcus Zegarowski. Plus, it's a rivalry game, they want to kick their ass.
Pick: Creighton -11.5
Outside of a bad beat in the Ohio State game where Nova just didn't score, Nova overs have been cash. We're riding that wave. Nova's offense looks the part like it did a few years ago thanks to Collin Gillespie figuring shit out. Here's why I like the over even more here. St. Joe's wants to play FAST on both sides of the ball thanks to Billy Lange being an NBA guy. They are going to jack up a bunch of threes and try to get Ryan Daly going. They also are just so bad defensively, meaning Nova should be able to get whatever they want whether it's at the rim or from three. Let's ride the over gravy train one more time.
Pick: Over 157.5
This line stinks, which means there's only one side to be on. The bad team in this game. That team would be Wisconsin, who is in fact quite bad. There might not be a team in the country more desperate for a win than Wisconsin either, losing three in a row. I hate this game, the line looks weird, only one thing to do - not watch this game and hope for a winner.
Pick: Wisconsin +1
Colorado is actually a good team this year and more importantly they have a guy in Evan Battey who looks like he should be playing left tackle to throw on Udoka Azubuike. Udoka is at his best when he can just overpower his defender, which is roughly 95% of the time since Azubuike also looks like he could play left tackle. Colorado is top-10 in the country in 2pt defense, which is massive in this game. Also we're just rolling in with fading teams coming off of a tournament win and Kansas had that out in Maui. Give me the points.
Pick: Colorado +9
One of the best rivalries in the sport gets a new look with John Brannen taking over for Cincinnati. Much like Chris Mack at Louisville, it just doesn't feel right yet. There was something about Mick being a UC guy and Pitino vs Calipari. I digress. In this game it's important to know that Jarron Cumberland is questionable with an injury and well, he and Brannen hasn't exactly gotten off to the best start - he's been benched because of behavior. I know Xavier has struggled shooting the ball for the last year+ but they are being undervalued, this is a top-20 team. They have enough on the wings with Scruggs and Marshall to attack, KyKy Tandy can provide shooting/scoring off the bench and Goodin just needs to snap out of his funk. Throw in this game being at Cintas and I'll roll with X.
Pick: Xavier -6
Missouri is coming off the 2nd worst loss of the season (from a Vegas number standpoint), losing at home to Charleston Southern. Now they have to go to Temple and are only getting 4.5? Both teams have a good defense, but Temple has the better guards. The biggest difference in this game is the turnover battle. Missouri is 274th in TO percentage, Temple is 88th in defensive TO percentage. On the other side, Temple is 28th in TO percentage. So, yeah, give me the team that doesn't turn the ball over but forces turnovers.
Pick: Temple -4.5