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YTD: 81-83-5 (We're due, right? Been too many .500 days not to be due)
Saint Louis +2.5
Xavier has been a bit of a mess here. They simply haven't shot the ball well at all and have been way too inconsistent for how experienced they are. So what did Travis Steele do? He stripped everyone of a starting gig and said whoever got the most points (based on a various scoring system) in practice would start. That's exactly what I want to hear, with them home, needing to get a win here soon against a Georgetown team that Tyrique Jones can play with Omer Yurtseven.
Pick: Xavier -4
Speaking of disappointments, Davidson might be the biggest disappointment in the country so far this year. You know who has looked a lot better? Saint Louis, even with the last second loss to Dayton. Their defense isn't being talked about enough and while I was hoping to get 3, I'm riding with Saint Louis. Keep an eye on Jordan Goodwin and Hasahn France going forward.
Pick: Saint Louis +2.5
Again, Temple at home is just such a different team. They actually look like they can compete there. So now you're giving me points while being at home, in this year? Yes, please. The other main reason? Cincinnati turns it over 21% of possessions, 276th in the country. Temple forces turnovers on 19.5% of possessions. That's a recipe for free points in a game where scoring can be tough.
Pick: Temple +2.5
Bounce back, bounce back, bounce back. We were on Alabama last week because it felt like water had to find its level with Auburn. But now they get to return home against a South Carolina team that just isn't great. Yeah, SC will try to ugly the game up, but the biggest positive for Auburn is the fact they can go small or run a big lineup with Austin Wiley. South Carolina doesn't shoot threes and gives up way too many looks from there defensively. Not the best recipe playing Auburn.
Pick: Auburn -11.5
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I'm not entirely sure why Syracuse is getting 4.5 here. Yeah, I mean I know it''s on the road, but 4.5 for two teams that are pretty much the same? I'll take those points. Elijah Hughes is probably the best player on the court with John Mooney right there. The difference being Syracuse going smaller and really pushing tempo (for Syracuse) they can match what ND wants to do. Both teams are going to shoot a million threes while that zone from Cuse is obviously still a factor.
Pick: Syracuse +4.5