CBB Picks: 1/12

Finally a winning day yesterday, but of course Louisville had to make it less fun with their second half performance.

NORTHEASTERN (-9.5) over Drexel

I don’t know why the line has fallen. Maybe it’s because they just played this game at Drexel and it went to overtime. Maybe there’s some injury I don’t know about.

Either way, Drexel is really struggling offensively lately. The one thing they really do well on offense is rebound, but that Northeastern has done a good job of cleaning things up all year. They didn’t do a great job in the first meeting, but I trust the 16-game sample size over just the one.

Even without Jeremy Miller, the Huskies are still a very good shooting team. They’ve got three pretty good shooters, a fourth (Begley) who’s dramatically improved this year, and a fifth (Brace) who is starting to break out of an early season slump.

That’s key for the Huskies in this game. They need to keep Drexel from getting live-ball turnovers and long defensive rebounds to keep them out of transition and force them to play a half-court game, which greatly favors Northeastern.

Ohio State (+11.5) over WISCONSIN

I refuse to believe that Ohio State is as bad as they’ve played lately and really they were a play away from beating Purdue, which would make things feel different for them. And I think they’ll play inspired tonight. A win in the Kohl Center would turn around their season.

They also have a good ability to matchup well with Wisconsin defensively. Trevor Thompson is the best post-defender in the conference, if you ask me. He made life really difficult for Swanigan and Haas for Purdue and he should slow down Ethan Happ. They’ve got the length to give Hayes some problems, as well. Admittedly, Keita Bates-Diop would be the best guy to throw at him, but he’s out for the year now. Wisconsin will get open looks from the perimeter, but they haven’t been consistent at all. They may be due, though, after going 2-14 at Purdue.

Offensively, the Buckeyes should be able to take advantage of some opportunities off the dribble drive. They’ll need a good shooting game from somebody, most likely Kam Williams or Marc Loving. Need to avoid a high turnover game from JaQuan Lyle.

Southern Miss (+14) over OLD DOMINION

You give me 14 points with ODU and I’ll take it every time. I don’t care that they’re coming off their best offensive performance of the year. WKU has been bad on defense all year. USM is at peak confidence level themselves right now after two big wins over the UT directional schools. Four of their last five games, they’ve been good defensively. They should have some confidence against ODU after beating the Monarchs last year, FWIW.

Delaware (+11) over TOWSON

Delaware stinks, but Towson has been equally as bad lately. Their offense has been atrocious. Both teams will probably be forced to shoot a bunch of jumpers. Towson’s shooting from everywhere has been so bad from everywhere in CAA play. They’re shooting 21% from three and 52% from the free throw line. If the Hens do a good job cleaning up the rebounds – which is one semi-strength they have – they’ll have a chance to win the game.

Louisiana Tech (-4) over CHARLOTTE

I pretty much always love a team coming off a horrible loss and losing at home to UTSA qualifies for the Bulldogs. I also like that they’ve had a few days to practice since then. There’s two alphas in this game, one for each side. Erik McCree for LT and Jon Davis for Charlotte. I don’t see anyone for the 49ers being able to stop McCree down low and definitely not on the glass. After only grabbing two rebounds against UTSA, I’d expect McCree to be aggressive.

I do think the Bulldogs will be able to limit Davis while staying home on shooters Ogbueze and White.

Marshall (+9) over MTSU

The obvious concern for the Herd is their interior defense against Jacorey Williams and Reggie Upshaw. I don’t really have an answer to soothe those concerns. It’s probably gonna be an issue.

The Herd’s best solution is really just to score more points, which is really their forte. They have plenty of ballhandlers to deal with MTSU’s pressure on defense and they shoot a great percentage at the line, so they should make the Raiders pay for their fouling. They also have the shooting from the outside to make MTSU pay.

It’s the best offense MTSU has played in a while and they were much better defensively when they were racking up those big wins in late November/early December. They haven’t been nearly as effective since then.

ARIZONA (-16.5) over Arizona State

I don’t think the Devils will have much of an answer for Ristic inside and who’s gonna guard Markkanen? And if you’re thinking that ASU can compete just because it’s a rivalry game and emotions and all that shit, they’ve lost by an average margin of 28 points their last three trips to Tucson.

Purdue (-6) over IOWA

It’s not going to be as easy for Purdue as it was a couple of weeks ago at home against the Hawkeyes, but they do have some distinct advantages. For one, they do a really good job on Peter Jok. Dakota Mathias has been great defensively when he’s guarding guys who do most of their work off the ball.

The other big advantage for Purdue is their front line against Iowa’s. They’re much more physical and aggressive on the boards. When it’s not working down low, Purdue will be able to find some open looks outside and they’ve got a lot of shooters.

CAL POLY (-2.5) over Fullerton

Cal Poly hasn’t played at home since DECEMBER 3rd! The best remedy for a six-game true road game losing streak is a home game against a Fullerton team that’s been bad away from their home floor, where they’re only slightly less bad.

Quinnipiac (+7.5) over SIENA

Missed this first time around, didn’t see Siena was playing. Gonna keep betting against them.

Season: 56-54-1 (50.9%)

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