CBB Picks: 1/23

GEORGIA (-1.5) over Arkansas

The Hogs have fallen off a cliff since the calendar turned to 2018. Maybe not a cliff, but they’ve at least been rolling down a large hill. And it’s all tied to defense. They’re the worst in the SEC right now and they’ve been particularly bad on the road. They’re 0-4 in true road games this year (0-4 ATS also) and the MOST efficient game they’ve had defensively is 1.14 points per possession.

UGA has struggled offensively, in fact they’ve been the least efficient in the SEC. However their last five opponents have been in the Top 6 of the SEC on defense (the sixth team in that Top 6 is Georgia). The one time they have played a bad defense – Ole Miss – they were able to roll to an easy victory at home.

IOWA (-1.5) over Wisconsin

I’ve expressed my displeasure with Iowa on several occasions, but I think this is a decent spot for them. They’ve struggled at home in conference play, but they’ve been playing the few good teams in the league in Carver Hawkeye. Wisconsin’s had their own struggles this year and they’ve mostly come away from Madison. 7 of their 8 worst offensive performances have been away from home. Now, Iowa is truly awful defensively, but they’re not terrible at guarding the post. They did very well defending Isaac Haas over the weekend, but they gave up 20 threes. If they can limit Ethan Happ, the Badgers don’t have near the same firepower on the perimeter.

MINNESOTA (-2) over Northwestern

Minnesota stock is at an all-time low, but Amir Coffey is back and I think he’s going to be a problem for the Cats. One of the biggest reasons Northwestern has taken two steps back this year is how much of a regression they’ve had in protecting the paint. I don’t think they can keep Coffey, Nate Mason, and Dupree McBrayer contained. Coffey changes a lot of things for the Gopher offense. Not only is he capable of attacking the rim, but he’s another capable shooter, and his passing ability creates a lot of opportunities for better looks. Outside of a narrow win at DePaul, Northwestern has been dreadful on the road this year.

YTD: 32-25 (+4.7u)

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