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YTD: 57-40-4 (Is that the high score? Is that good? Did I break it?)
Under 137.5 Michigan/Oregon
Over 139 Memphis/Tennessee
Over 152 Gonzaga/Arizona
Some things: This week actually kinda sucks in terms of games with the start of finals and Christmas break. Howevah, today's schedule is sneaky better. It's one of the problems with college hoops where they don't get to take advantage with football on a break and load up some awesome games. That said, we'll still be betting when we find games we like and put into a blog. These lines come from PointsBet, in the middle of the night thanks to the President's Cup and a 3-month old, when I'm working on the blog. 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.
This comes down to one thing and one thing only. Can Michigan shoot the ball well? In their two losses they are 6-for-37 from three. In all the other games (wins) they are shooting 42%. Kind of a big difference there. Now, you have a team in Oregon coming east for a noon game so that's always a bit of a weird spot. What I want to see is who wins the Zavier Simpson/Payton Pritchard matchup. Both are experienced point guards and make their teams go. Pritchard more of a scorer where Simpson is more the defender/set up guard. Remember that Oregon is playing without Shakur Juiston too.
Pick: Michigan -3.5/under 137.5
Ah, a rivalry that our dads will blabber on and on about. I do love that these teams still play though, even if it brings up all the annoying 'well the old Big East' talk that's just overplayed at the time. Georgetown has gone through some shit. We know all about that with transfers and reports of legal problems. At the same time Syracuse is the most inconsistent program in the country. One game they look like they can't beat Albany and the next they go and drop 100 on Georgia Tech. I am excited to see the Mac McClung show as he's option No. 1 for Georgetown and he will get his buckets. With everything going on though, I'm going to take the points.
Pick: Syracuse +3
Speaking of rivalry games, there are few with more hatred than these two right now. We all remember what happened last year with a guy shitting behind a concession stand, Penny and Rick Barnes . getting into it, flopping accusations and now the program is possibly ending. I know Tennessee wants to play tough and slow and Memphis is without James Wiseman and Lester Quinonens, but here's an important thing to remember. Memphis is going to fly around the court, gamble and try and force turnovers. Tennessee is super turnover prone, ranking 220th in the country in turnover percentage. Because of that style of play there is going to be a ton of easy points one way or another. Both teams also rank top-40 in fouls drawn, so we can get a lot of cheap points at the free throw line, especially assuming the refs call this game tight to avoid any fights. Let's be real too, we can't cheer for either team.
Pick: Over 139
Just a heads up that we're getting Digger Phelps and Bill Walton on the call for this game. Quite literally anything can be said. UCLA is coming to play Notre Dame and I'll be honest. I have no idea how either team could be favored right now. Notre Dame has struggled this year, again dealing with injuries, and still trying to figure out roles after last year's team got decimated by injuries. UCLA wants to play typical Mick Cronin style of slowing the game down and making you work on both sides of the ball. This Notre Dame team is speeding up the tempo. I'll trust Mick to control tempo in this game and close my eyes because this game is going to suck.
Pick: UCLA +6
Pretty simple philosophy here for me. Fade Wake Forest until they burn me. I know it's a trap line. I know Xavier should win this game by double digits. Do I care? Nope, gonna trust my gut here. Wake turns the ball over a ton, Xavier forces turnovers. Wake doesn't really have the wings to matchup with Xavier's best players in Marshall and Scruggs. Wake runs you off the 3pt line and struggles defending inside the paint, Xavier doesn't want to shoot threes, they want to get the ball inside either off the dribble or to Tyrique Jones.
Pick: Xavier -4.5
Perfect late night game with the best game on the slate. Gonzaga/Arizona has turned into one of my favorite yearly matchups and the way these teams play this year - fast, get the ball and go - makes it even better. Here's part of what's to watch. Zeke Nnaji, for how good he is and has been this year, really struggles in PnR defense. Gonzaga can 100% take advantage of that, especially using wings like Joel Ayayi and Corey Kispert. On the flip side, Arizona wants to put Gonzaga's bigs in PnR with Nico Mannion going downhill. Both teams rank top-30 in offensive tempo, so we're going to get the possessions in this game. Yes, Sean Miller runs the pack-line, but Gonzaga can shoot over that and is a good shooting team.
Pick: Over 152