Another College Basketball season is upon, and with it a new season for picks. We start the season with a bang. Duke is in New York City for the Champions Classic and thanks to the ACC Network, we get conference games in November. All the better for betting. Let’s go.
After sneaking up on the country last season in Chris Mack’s first year, Louisville comes into this season with as much hype as they’ve had in years. And the hype is warranted. Jordan Nwora is one of the most versatile players and should factor into the race for ACC Player of the Year. Miami on the other hand finished 11th in the league a season ago and after losing Anthony Lawrence could struggle once again. Given it’s the first game of the season, I’m not going to overthink it. Louisville will be better and I expect them to come out of the gates hot.
Pick: Louisville -6
Going into last season’s Champions Classic we were anticipating Duke’s big three freshmen and RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, and even Cam Reddish didn’t disappoint in a thrashing of Kentucky. Well, that’s not going to be repeated this season. Sure, Duke has another group of highly acclaimed freshmen, but unfortunately for the Blue Devils, not all recruiting classes are created equally. Even with Tre Jones running the show, I think Duke will struggle out of the gates, at the very least, as their freshmen learn the college game. That education will begin Tuesday as Kansas brings a very experienced squad into Madison Square Garden. But the key to this game is the Jayhawks are in F U mode this season and will begin their rampage through the college basketball season tonight. I’m a little upset the betting line didn’t follow the KenPom prediction, but even with a couple points, I like the Jayhawks.
Pick: Kansas -2
Raise your hand if you can name five players who will be playing in this game. Now put your hand down. Graduation and transfers have decimated both of these squads and for VaTech, that attrition included coach Buzz Williams. I’m going to be on the “Fade VaTech” train all season until they prove me wrong. And while I’m not extremely confident in Clemson, they do have Aamir Simms who will be the best player on the floor. That and the home court advantage and I’ll take the Tigers.
Pick: Clemson -6.5
Last season, N.C. State was one of the fastest teams in the country. However, many of their games ended up not shooting out. The reason was part of their frenetic pace was due to attempts at turnovers. They’d pressure early in the clock, but if they didn’t get the steal, they actually played defense for most of the shot clock. Georgia Tech will be content to let that happen. The Yellow Jackets used a sneaky good defense last year to keep games under control. Despite their ban from postseason play, I think Georgia Tech will be fairly competitive this year. They can keep this game close, but overall I think it’s relatively low scoring.
Pick: Under 151
Season Total: ATS (0-0), O/U (0-0), Total (0-0)