CBB Picks: 12/20

Hey, a winning day.

Richmond (-4.5) over JAMES MADISON

JMU has one win this season and that was over Longwood, one of the five or six worst teams in the country. It is their first home game in about a month. While that may provide some comfort, it’s not like they played any better there in the first couple weeks of the season.

The Spiders didn’t quite get it done against Texas Tech, but they were right there the whole game and they had to deal with the scary scene of Grant Golden getting taken off on a stretcher mid-game. Golden isn’t playing and I’m no doctor, but it might be best that he never does again. On a more basketball-specific note, TJ Cline still couldn’t get it going and the fact they were still in the game makes me feel better about Richmond. Maybe Cline can get it going tonight against JMU’s “defense”.

TOLEDO (+1) over Loyola Chicago – POSSIBLY

If Steve Taylor plays, I’ll take the Rockets up to -3. Loyola doesn’t have the inside presence to match him and he’ll have a field day on the glass. If he doesn’t play, it’s a no-go.

Fresno State (+16) over OREGON

Chris Boucher unexpectedly didn’t play against UNLV, but the Ducks still won by 20 (and covered) over the weekend. Boucher is out again and it’s a much bigger deal for this game. The Ducks had a massive advantage down low and Boucher’s absence just made it a little bit less massive.

Fresno has the size to match Oregon and Karachi Edo is making his season debut tonight. Edo was one of the best offensive rebounders in the country last year and a steady scorer. He’ll be a big boost to a team that’s struggled a bit on the glass this year.

WASHINGTON (-13.5) over Cal Poly

It’s a dangerous game running with the Huskies, but Cal Poly was a bad team already and now they’ve lost two of their best three players. Josh Martin hasn’t played for a while now, but PG Jaylen Shead just bounced from the program out of the blue before their game with Cal. Shead would be the guy on the team most suited to slow down Markelle Fultz. He’s also the guy that would’ve picked apart UW’s defense with his drive and dish game. The Mustangs got shredded by a Cal team that has had major issues on offense this year.

MONMOUTH (-4) over Princeton – 2u

The way this one goes sideways is if Princeton gets rolling from outside, which is very possible because they’ll have opportunities against the Hawks defense.

But the Tigers are also down two of their best rebounders now. Hans Brase has been out for a little while, but now they’ve also lost Henry Caruso for the season. Caruso has been a big-time scorer for them the past couple years, as well.

While Princeton might hit enough shots to win this one, they’ve been just okay percentage-wise this season and they’re on the road. I’m more confident that Justin Robinson will have his way and be able to get anywhere he wants on offense.

PROVIDENCE (-13) over Maine – 1H

The Friars have made a bit of a trend of blasting bad teams in the first half and then coming out too relaxed in the second half.

And Maine is pretty bad. They’ve only played two good teams all season. Duke beat them by 39 without Grayson Allen. Va Tech only beat them by 13, but Maine went on a 12-0 run in the final three minutes to make that one look prettier than it was. The one thing the Bears do well is take care of the ball, but the Friars can really turn up the pressure and have caused a lot of turnovers this year.

Season: 15-16 (48.4%)

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