We came back down to Earth Tuesday, going 3-3 (just like the ACC and Big Ten). But today is a new day and our Hoos are playing. Get that betting finger ready since as soon as the lines are out the Virginia Cavaliers total will plummet.
Rutgers @ Miami
KP: Miami -13, O/U 135
Vegas: Miami -11.5, O/U 139
Like my five year old when it’s time to go shopping, “do we have to” bet on this game? If it weren’t associated with the challenge I’d probably not even recognize this as a basketball game. In fact if you look at Ken Pomeroy’s Thrill Score, this one ranks smack dab between Holy Cross at Harvard and Little Rock at Central Arkansas. The second game may or may not be between high school teams. Nevertheless this is part of the challenge and I’m giving you a pick for all 14 games. Both teams actually have elite defenses and Rutgers offense is #Bad. Miami hasn’t been great so far this season, so Rutgers getting 11.5 points is kind of tasty. But in a game between good defenses where one team struggles to score, I like the under.
Pick: Under 139
Syracuse @ Ohio State
KP: Syracuse +3, O/U 135
Vegas: Syracuse +4.5, O/U 134
Given what they lost, I’m not sure I can believe in Ohio State. We all know the NCAA’s NET loves the Buckeyes, but I’m not sold. However...Syracuse will be leaving the state of New York. That’s almost as automatic a bet against the Orange for me as there is.
...And that is what I wrote last night before the actual line came out. Given that Syracuse is getting four and a half points, give me the better KenPom team and the points.
Pick: Syracuse +4.5
Virginia @ Maryland
KP: Virginia -3, O/U 131
Vegas: Virginia -4, O/U 129
Just bet the under as soon as it comes out. You won’t win every game, but you’re probably gonna win 70% (?) of the time. Give that percentage to a sharp and he’ll start touting picks on a voicemail service. In all seriousness though, Maryland comes into the game riding high, but they haven’t played anybody. This will be the first game they’ve played where someone else will dictate the flow, and that’s going to be a rude awakening for a team that ranks 349th in the country in experience. This line opened at 128.5 and has actually gone up to 129.5 in some spots. That’s an interesting move, but one I’ll take.
Pick: Under 129
Georgia Tech @ Northwestern
KP: Georgia Tech +7, O/U 129
Vegas: Georgia Tech +8, O/U 129
This game gives Rutgers/Miami a run for its money in the category of “game I couldn’t care less about.” Neither team has shown anything to get excited about up to this point in the season. Neither team is particularly good. I liked Northwestern’s win over Utah until I realized the Utes aren’t anything special this season. Each time these teams have played anyone of quality, they haven’t done so well. I don’t like Georgia Tech. It’s too many points for Northwestern to cover, so why not look at the total. Take the under in what looks to be a sloppy game.
Pick: Under 129
North Carolina @ Michigan
KP: North Carolina +2, O/U
Vegas: North Carolina +3.5, O/U 146.5
Are we sure Michigan is good? Well, yes, they are good. But are they THAT good? The win at Villanova looked huge at the time, but then Villanova went out and lost to Furman taking some shine off the Wolverines win. Let’s play a little game and say if Michigan beat Florida State (a similarly rated KenPom team to the Wildcats) instead of Villanova, is Michigan favored in this game against UNC? I don’t think they are. Getting three and a half, even on the road, I’ll take the Tar Heels.
Pick: North Carolina +3.5
Purdue @ Florida State
KP: Florida State -4, O/U 148
Vegas: Florida State -3.5, O/U 149.5
This should be a great matchup of two really good teams trying to ascend to the upper tier of their respective conferences. I hate to bet against Carsen Edwards, but I like Florida State’s size here. That and home court I think the Seminoles get it done, but I will be watching the line to see if I can get some more value on the Boilermakers.
Pick: Florida State -3.5
Season Total: ATS (6-2), O/U (3-2), Total (9-4)