Picks of the Day: CBB and NBA 1/26

5-3 yesterday. The Miami and Duke play was obviously a big one and really wasn’t that close before a flurry of points in the last few minutes. Caught some real luck with the Grizzlies forcing overtime and then covering in the extra five minutes.

The Kings game was an interesting one. If you told me before the game that Boogie would drop 56, Rondo would have 20 assists, Kemba would go 5-25 from the floor, and Troy Daniels would lead the Hornets in scoring, I think I would’ve dropped my life savings on the Kings covering. They lost. I’m still confused.

CBB

UCF (+4.5) over Memphis

Memphis has had the better season so far, but in AAC play the two teams have played pretty evenly from an efficiency standpoint. That’s in large part to the absence of K.J. Lawson for the Tigers, who remains sidelined with an Achilles injury. When it comes to the matchup, Memphis hasn’t been shooting the ball well from the floor in AAC play. They get a lot of shots blocked. They’re generating a lot of offense on putbacks and free throws. UCF has been solid on the defensive glass and while they don’t block a ton of shots, they’ve got the second tallest lineup in the country to alter shots. They also send opponents to the line at the fourth most infrequent rate in the country. That’s going to limit the bulk of Memphis’s offense. UCF has also shot the ball really well from outside in conference play and the Tigers have struggled to defend the perimeter lately. The biggest cause for concern is that the Knights turn the ball over at a high rate. They can’t allow for Memphis to get out in transition on them.

Florida State (-10) over BOSTON COLLEGE

BC is the Rutgers of the ACC. They’re really awful. In the non-conference, they were actually one of the more efficient teams in the country defensively. That’s gone to hell, because they’ve been the least efficient defense in the ACC in conference play. FSU is a young and talented team that isn’t the most consistent, but I think they’ll be sharp after a narrow loss at home over the weekend to Pitt. They just have so much more offensive skill than the Eagles. BC has one guy, Matt Millon, who has an offensive rating over 100. By comparison, the Noles have seven. And Millon has seen his minutes diminish lately even though he’s the only guy on the team that can consistently make outside shots. FSU has already won road games at Florida and NC State and took Iowa to OT on the road as well, so there’s no real cause for concern in that department.

Mississippi State (+8.5) over SOUTH CAROLINA

Once again two teams with very different records, but have actually been performing at similar levels in SEC play. MSU is 1-5 in the SEC, but other than losing by 14 to Arkansas, they’ve lost four games by a combined 15 points. And they’ve played the second most difficult schedule in league play. Meanwhile, SC has played a much weaker schedule. They really haven’t buried a halfway decent team all year. That’s the reason they’re a 17-2 SEC team and they’re only ranked 46th on KenPom. The Bulldogs are coming off a big road win over Mississippi. The key for them is keeping the Gamecocks off of the offensive boards while also creating turnovers defensively and turning them into points the other way.

ILLINOIS STATE (-9) over Drake

Drake is the worst team in the MVC and have really struggled on the road. Illinois State has won six straight in the series and covered five of them. They already won at Drake by 5 a few weeks ago. The Redbirds are coming off a nice nine-point home win over Northern Iowa.

NEVADA-San Diego State under 132

There have been two SDSU games all year that have reached 140 in regulation. Obviously, that’s not our number here, but this is one where you know you’re at least gonna be in the hunt. You’re looking at two offensive teams here that rank in the 200s, but are in the top 80 defensively. SDSU is 4th in defensive efficiency. The Aztecs are terrible shooters and generate a good portion of their offense on second chance points. In MW play, Nevada has done an above-average job of keeping teams off the offensive glass. For their part, the Wolfpack are also terrible shooters. They like to get a lot of points off free throws. The problem with that is the fact that SDSU just doesn’t allow you to get to the line very easily. Pray for a rock fight.

NBA

PACERS (+1) over Clippers

The news of the sports world today was Blake Griffin giving those hands to an equipment staffer in Toronto. That seems like a bit of a distraction. The Clips have been good without Griffin, but that’s been against sub-par competition mostly. The Pacers haven’t been setting the world on fire, but they’re back from a tough west coast road trip and back to the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse where they’re 13-6 on the year. They’ve covered the spread in five of the past six of this series.

RAPTORS (-8.5) over Wizards

These two have met three times this year and the Wiz are only averaging 87 points per game in those meetings. It doesn’t help that Bradley Beal is out again after getting a concussion last night against the Celtics. After he went out, the wheels fell off for the team. The Raptors have been playing really well lately, going 7-1 ATS in their last eight and they’ve been scoring at a higher clip.


CBB YTD: 103-103-7 (50.0%)

NBA YTD: 53-33-1 (61.6%)

Total YTD: 156-136-8 (53.4%)

Above .500 days: 16

.500 days: 13

Below .500 days: 11

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