COLORADO STATE (-3.5) over New Mexico
Neither team’s offense matches up particularly well against the other, but the Rams can at least get to the offensive glass. Plus they’ve got the home court edge. And this as much a play against New Mexico as anything. I was curious to see how they’d respond after that epic collapse against Nevada and the answer was a home loss to lowly UNLV.
VCU (-2) over DAVIDSON
After losing back-to-back games against Illinois and Georgia Tech, the Rams have righted the ship and are playing like a really experienced team that won 25 games last year. They’ve got a few options to throw at Jack Gibbs and they’re built to limit three-point shooting teams like the Wildcats.
MARQUETTE (-15) over DePaul
Feels like this one is teed up for the Eagles. They’ve had three close, physically grinding games: two against Seton Hall and one at Villanova. Now they get an inconsistent DePaul team at home, who’s coming off a win and shown no ability to handle any type of success. Outside of the bizarre game at Villanova, they haven’t been good away from Chicago. They’ve been susceptible lately against good shooters and now they’ve got to defend one of the best shooting teams in the country.
Marshall (+4) over UAB
Marshall didn’t quite come through against MTSU, but I think they’ll be able to shoot on UAB. They’ve also continued to improve defensively. Their interior defense was actually pretty good against the Blue Raiders and they’ll need to continue that against Chris Cokley. They lost a couple close ones down the stretch against a much more experienced Blazer team last year, but they’ve narrowed that gap.
VIRGINIA TECH (-1.5) over Notre Dame
Pretty much always a safe bet to take the Hokies at home. It’s also a tough turnaround for the Irish, after playing in Miami on Thursday night. In a battle of two shooting teams, VT is set up to have more success.
Florida State (+8.5) over UNC
The Noles have been as steady as anyone in the country for a couple of months now. They belong in the conversation of best ACC teams and 8.5 is quite a cushion in a game that could go either way. UNC has been pretty good at home, but the Noles already have a win at Virginia, so I wouldn’t expect them to be intimidated.
More to come later.
CHARLESTON (-5.5) over William & Mary
The Cougars have themselves firmly entrenched in a three-team race for the CAA title. They’ve still got offensive issues, but they’re not as bad of a shooting team as they’ve shown so far this year. They’ve started to make some perimeter shots and that’ll be key against W&M’s zone. The Tribe’s defense doesn’t do much to disrupt anyone. On the other end, nobody has been better percentage-wise defending the three than the Cougars, which is a big source of offense for the Tribe. The key will be creating enough turnovers and cleaning up the Tribe misfires.
UCF (+2.5) over Houston – 2u
UCF had all week off to practice after a horrible outing at UConn, so I’d expect them to be sharp. Houston meanwhile is coming off an insane shooting performance at ECU. They’re a good shooting team, but water always seems to find its level, especially playing against UCF’s defense in Orlando. Only one team has been able to do that all year (Penn).
West Virginia (-11) over TEXAS
Tevin Mack suspended for the Longhorns. He’s their leading scorer, one of their least turnover prone players, and a guy with length. Seems important against West Virginia. The Horns also don’t have a true point guard to go against the press and generally are a poor offensive team. They just seem like a mess right now. The biggest concern for me is the Mountaineers coming off that big win over Baylor and what their mental mindset is, especially knowing that Mack is out.
Fordham (+8) over St. Bonaventure
Not a true home game for the Bonnies and Jaylen Adams is sitting out again, which is a real problem for SBU. Big question if the Bonnies can handle Fordham’s pressure without their primary ball-handler.
LOUISIANA-MONROE (+2) over Georgia State
The Panthers have been really banged up. ULM is struggling this year, but they’re always tough to beat at Fant-Ewing.
LAST UPDATE: I’m not sure why I keep doing this. I especially don’t get why you keep reading it, but thanks. I’m tired of writing, so not much in the way of explanation.
Maryland (+3.5) over ILLINOIS
Despite the Illini having more experience, I trust the Terps more.
Missouri (+14.5) over ARKANSAS
The Tigers aren’t good, but they’re a young team who still defends and battles, despite their lack of talent. Tough knowing what to ever expect from Arkansas.
Nevada (-1) over WYOMING
Wolfpack D matches up pretty well against the Wyoming O. Nevada should live on the line at the other. Wolfpack need this type of game if they’re gonna win the Mountain West.
Southern Miss (+9.5) over CHARLOTTE
Sticking with the Golden Eagles after they came through against ODU. They were right in that game the whole time. This’ll be a different style game, but anyone can score on Charlotte.
ILLINOIS STATE (+3) over Wichita State
First of the battles between the two best in the MVC. I like the home team in this one. ISU can shoot on the Shockers, which we talked about with Loyola the other day.
UC IRVINE (-8.5) over Fullerton – 2u
I was wrong about Fullerton the other night, but Irvine is a different animal. With Luke Nelson back, they look head and shoulders better than anybody else in the Big West.