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YTD: 61-49-4 (it's on the plus side, that's a plus)
Under 142 Indiana/Notre Dame
Over 133 Utah State/Florida
Under 141 UCLA/UNC
Notes: Finally, we have an absolutely loaded slate of games. Everything from the CBS Sports Classic to Crossroads Classic to Nova/Kansas and low key the most hilarious thing of the day - St John's playing Arizona in San Francisco so the Warriors could honor Chris Mullin only for SJU to fire Mullin. Either way, it's awesome. This is the first true Saturday with just this loaded of a slate. These lines come from PointsBet, which I started looking at in the middle of the night, 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).
So we get to start the day off with this? Giddy up. I think we've sort of seen this matchup before though - because Dayton plays a similar way to Nova. They are going to spread Kansas out and try to attack with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jermaine Samuels and/or Saddiq Bey against Azubuike/McCormak/De Sousa. Dayton was doing this with Ryan Mikesell, especially late in the game and there was some success. The key is going to be if the Nova guards can stay out of foul trouble, because Devon Dotson has been the best point guard in the country so far. I do wish this game was on campus, but you have Allen Ray's number retirement at Wells Fargo during this.
Pick: Villanova +2
First game of the Crossroads Classic and we're going with a total here. Indiana runs the pack-line defense, that's a Miller staple. Despite Notre Dame being a decent 3pt shooting team and that's what they want to do, you don't beat the pack-line by just jacking. You have to attack it and get the right rotation to the open three. I don't know how much I trust that happening. On the flip side, Notre Dame's 2pt defense is top-40 in the country and Indiana isn't a real threat to beat you from three. Early tip in an NBA arena?
Pick: Under 142
I don't care that this game is in Providence and taking a small road favorite typically doesn't work. How can you trust this Providence offense? Look at what they did against Florida's defense. Texas has a similar defense profile to Florida. I'm on auto-fade Providence right now. It might be dumb, but it's been paying off.
Pick: Texas -1
Second game of the Crossroads Classic features a team that is not nearly being talked about enough nationally in Butler. I love their roster, especially with what they can do on the wing. Throw in they have an All-Big East player and possible All-American in Kamar Baldwin and it's perfect. Purdue's Matt Haarms is questionable for this game after battling a concussion and missing the OU game. Both teams have top-15 defenses in the country, but the difference is Butler is way more consistent scoring the ball. A lot of that falls on Baldwin and despite having Matt Painter being able to draw something up, I'll take Butler here.
Pick: Butler -1
Fuck it, we're back on them. We're back on Florida overs today. I promised myself I'd be careful but then I saw them pushing tempo against Providence and remembered the good times of betting Louisiana Tech overs with Mike White there and think he's smart enough to realize Florida is at its best when they run. Utah State wants to run and they have dudes in Queta, Justin Bean and Sam Merrill.
Pick: Over 133
Jeremy Harris actually looked the part against Gonzaga. But, there's no Cole Anthony and UCLA's going to limit possessions way more than Gonzaga. Also, Mick Cronin just preaches defense. More importantly, UCLA takes away scoring inside meaning UNC, which doesn't shoot the ball well, is going to have to hit outside shots in T-Mobile Arena. On top of that, UCLA is going to take the air out of the ball on offense. I don't think Roy will necessarily have a problem slowing the game down a bit more than normal.
Pick: Under 141
This is such an important game for Dayton. Yes, Colorado has been a bit disappointing so far this year, but they're still a likely tournament team. This is the last nonconference game for Dayton that can hold some weight. The A-10 is okay, but Davidson has a slow start and we'll see what happens with Duquesne and Richmond. The key here is Dayton's offense. They run Obi Toppin/Mikesell at the 5 which means that Evan Battey - who has one of the best stories in America - has to step out and defend them on the perimeter. Battey is made to bang in the paint. I'll trust the best offense in America (by an efficiency number) in this setting - especially with this game being in Chicago where a million Dayton grads live.
Pick: Dayton -5
I'll be honest. This line makes ZERO sense - even with the game at Arizona State. I really like this Creighton team - their 3 guards are as good as anyone in the country. The way Arizona State wants to play in getting up and down the court favors Creighton. Arizona State is coming off a 40 point loss to St. Mary's in which 3 guys scored all 56 points, including 43 from a dude on the bench. So I guess bounce back game? Fuck that, Creighton is a team I like.
Pick: Creighton +3