Let’s get right into it. Cincinnati will cover 7 points in Memphis. The Bearcats beat an SMU team that randomly got a vote for the AP top 25 previoiusly. They also proved seven points could take an opponent an entire quarter to accomplish (during an abysmal offensive showcase against former Big East foe Pittsburgh recently).
This is also when I expect Michigan State to flex its muscle. They will cover 1 1/2 points in Indiana Saturday then serve Ohio State its first loss of the season Wednesday night. This is what I expect of a national champion, which is what I believe Tom Izzo’s club to be. Did you know that every player Izzo has ever coached for four years has played in the Final Four? Adreian Payne and Keith Appling are the two seniors of note who in jeopardy of seeing that streak end. However, both are playing like leaders and have a great supporting cast including, fittingly, Indiana’s former Mr. Basketball Gary Harris.
Speaking of Ohio State, there are some wacky inflated lines heading into Saturday, January 4th’s matchups. The Buckeyes are giving an improved Nebraska program 17 points. Meanwhile, Arizona is giving Washington 18 points. Take both underdogs in those scenarios. Lorenzo Romar is a great coach with the Washington Huskies and they’ll be competitive in Tuscon.
Another line that I think is over-inflated is the Xavier-Butler matchup. The line is 6 points favoring Xavier. But Butler just took #8th ranked Villanova to overtime before losing. In fact, two of the Bulldogs three loses this season were in overtime. They’ve lost by combined seven points total all season. This is a historic matchup with Xavier up 31-17 lifetime. Butler is 8-3 on the season against the spread, according to http://www.vegasinsider.com. If you need one more reason to trust Butler +6, they lost last year’s matchup to Xavier by a slim 5 points.
Ouch. Colorado State is 1-7 against the spread this season. I like the law of large averages to work in their favor this weekend. They face a good New Mexico team, but are getting a comfortable 12 point cushion. Take the Rams Saturday.
Last, but not least, take St. John’s against Georgetown. The Hoyas most recent notable game was a spanking at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence (the home of respectheline.com). I wouldn’t be surprised if JT3’s team responds with a winning effort, but Jakarr Sampson somehow fell from the LeBron James athlete tree in Akron, Ohio. I like he and the Johnny’s to keep it close and cash in on a 6 point cushion.
Matt’s ATS is 10-7 on the season. Look for the amount of predictions to really ramp up as the start of 2014 means March will be here before we know it!