GAMBLING BLOG: Michigan Has A Chance To Win A National Championship But Tonight Is A Problem

Decent 5-2 night on Day 1. But like anything else this is a LONG season. It's a grind. As I said, the plan is to put a blog out every day with at least one pick. That said, I'm open to ideas on how to tinker with it, etc. Basically I'm just giving out what I'm playing and why.  As the season goes on we'll be going with more trends and matchup based stats. But tonight? Tonight is like every other early night, it's about trying to find numbers that work and teams that work.

As always - all the lines come from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download the app here.

2021-22 record: 5-2

The best game of the night. Don't even get me started on how dumb the scheduling portion is. Way too many games yesterday, small to nothing games today and tomorrow and then UCLA/Nova at 11:30 on Friday night and Texas/Gonzaga at 10:30 Saturday night. Well done. That's how we get eyeballs on the sport! But this is about Buffalo for me. Listen, Michigan is going to be good. They are a top-5ish team in the country and will be all year. They have an All-American in Hunter Dickinson. They return Eli Brooks. They bring in DeVante Jones, Caleb Houstan, Moussa Diabete and Kobe Burfkin. All great and understandable why people are high on Michigan this year. But Buffalo isn't a standard mid-major. Josh Mballa is undersized vs Dickinson but he's also one of the best rebounders in the country and reigning MAC DPOY. Basically I'm playing experience here. Buffalo returns nearly everyone from last year including 3 who scored over 13 per game. Michigan is just going to need some time to get rotations, roles, etc figured out. That's how the game goes. Buffalo is going to make Michigan beat them by playing through physical defense, taking away the 3pt line and making them use the dribble. It's not an easy first game, which credit to Michigan for scheduling. 

Pick: Buffalo +12.5

Fairleigh Dickinson is a couple of things. First, they aren't good. Second, they are young. They also played relatively fast on offense last year, which is ideal with what I'm lookin at here. Jared Rhoden is questionable and a gametime decision. I'm not worried about that in this game though, because Seton Hall could get to 90 points with or without him. I know Mamu isn't there. That's fine. It's keeping Seton Hall a bit underrated. I actually love Kadary Richmond in this system and think he's going to be a star in the Big East. Fairleigh Dickinson is projected to have a bottom-10 defense in the country. Also a decent 3pt shooting team. That's what I'm looking at here.

Pick: Over 148.5

This is strictly a spot play for me. Dusty May is a hell of a coach. He tends to overachieve. That's great, but not tonight. The Pit is going to be ROCKING. First game of Richard Pitino's career at New Mexico. First game after not being able to play in New Mexico last year. Both teams also have a ton of injury concerns. It looks like New Mexico will be without two starters - Saquan Singleton and Valdin Manuel. FAU will be without starting point guard Bryan Greenlee. Not ideal when you're going from Florida to New Mexico for a road game to start the year. 

Pick: New Mexico +1

Another strictly spot play here. Alcorn State played yesterday afternoon at Washington State. Now they are going back-to-back. Seattle's head coach is currently suspended for an investigation into using a racial slur, but this Seattle team is good. Darrion Trammel scores over 20 per game. Riley Grigsby scores over 17 per game. They take care of the ball, spread you out and attack. For a team that played the day before this feels like tired legs, especially early in the season. Again, strictly a spot play. 

Pick: Seattle -17

Another team with a brand new coach. Lon Kruger's kid takes over at UNLV and it's not like he has a completely new roster. He does get Bryce Hamilton back. What doesn't make this easy is the fact Gardner Webb basically starts four guards. You don't see that often and the guards are all good. UNLV is also reportedly without Victor Iwuakor. That means they are going to play a ton of transfers with Hamilton. Not ideal in the first game. Not against a Gardner-Webb team who launches threes and spaces you out. UNLV is going to play through Hamilton. He's a high usage guy and in the first game that probably won't change. Gardner-Webb can throw a few different looks and actually were top-10 in the country last year at block rate. 

Pick: Gardner-Webb +10