Toledo leads the MAC West with a 9-2 record in conference play but they are facing a Miami (OH) team that continues to exceed expectations and have proven to extremely useful to back at home. The RedHawks' defense is perhaps even better than we gave them credit for and they are very adept at defending the 3 ball, which the Rockets rely on. The RedHawks have covered the last 4 times as an underdog, winning outright 3 times and we see no reason they don't put up a fight here.
The Bulls have really struggled losing their last 7 games and it's no surprise as some key players that led the resurgence are missing. Kris Dunn has cleared concussion protocol but he remains out for a few more games. Nikola Mirotic has been traded to New Orleans. However, the Bulls should receive a boost tonight with Lauri Markkanen returning after the birth of his child and perhaps acquired a wild card in Noah Vonleh from Portland. The Timberwolves look like a real contender in the West but they are coming off an extremely hard fought 140-138 overtime loss to the Cavs on Wednesday. This should be personal to a lot of different players and coaches facing their former teams. Thibodeau got the better of his former employer twice last season but as his overworked team isn't in the ideal situation, we expect the hosts to put up a fight and possibly win outright. To be safe, we're going to take the points!
Arizona St started the year a perfect 12-0 but has struggled to maintain that form in conference play as they're still below .500 against PAC-12 opponents at 5-6. USC was the exact opposite in many ways as they've excelled in conference play at 8-3 after a poor start to the season in non-conference play. USC plays slower than in recent years but the Sun Devils still love to push the pace and when these teams match up, it generally leads to fireworks and we see the Trojans happy to play in a shootout
After a fantastic start to the season in non-conference play, Washington St has had a tough go of it against PAC-12 opponents at just 1-9 in conference play. Oregon St has a few more wins than the Cougars but have struggled losing their last 4 games and 6 out of their last 7. As much as Washington State's fortunes have reversed, we're having a hard time accepting the Beavers as near double digit favorites. After all, the Cougars have done well to stay competitive in games where the final score hasn't always been truly indicative of how the game played out. The Cougars 3 point shooting should keep them in this game!
Weber St sits in 2nd place in the Big Sky at 8-2 and is chasing 11-0 Montana. North Dakota is on the other side near the bottom at 3-8 and have lost 4 of their last 5. North Dakota is an extremely poor defensive team and love to play fast which is usually not a recipe for success. However, one area the Fighting Hawks are competent in is defending the 3 which matches up well against the Wildcats. The first meeting between these 2 teams went over but we expect differently this time around and we certainly don't expect the visitors to shoot over 50%. This total is a few pips too high!
Both teams enter this game at 5-5 in conference play and fighting for position in the Big Sky. The Bengals are coming off an 84-80 loss to Southern Utah over the weekend to follow up their win at Northern Arizona. Playing back to back games at elevation can be taxing but the Bengals have had plenty of time to recover with 4 days of rest. Northern Colorado has made a terrific turnaround this year and are coming off an 86-63 win over Montana St. Both teams are coming off extended rest and have been shooting the ball quite well. The Bears love to play up and down and we believe the Bengals will oblige. First meeting between the two ended 94-80 in favor of the Bears. Home court should make a difference this time around but either way, we believe the total is a bit too low given the circumstances.
Illinois Chicago has been a nice surprise as they sit at 9-3 and just 1 game behind conference co-leaders Wright St and Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League. The Flames have won their last 6 and 9 of their last 10 after beginning the conference season at 0-2. Youngstown St has improved this year as well but the Penguins have been mired in a slump, losing 8 of their last 9 and failed to cover in 3 of their last 4 games. The Penguins lack of defense should be exploited here against a Flames team that is relentless and pushes the pace. I think line's gone the wrong way.
The Wizards lost for the first time without John Wall on Tuesday as they were defeated by the Sixers 115-102. Still, the Wizards did well to win against the likes of the Thunder and Raptors without their best player on the court. The Celtics followed up their buzzer-beating win over the Blazers by dropping a game to the Raptors 111-91. Shane Larkin and Marcus Smart remain out for the visitors with Jaylen Brown questionable and new arrival Greg Monroe expected to make his debut with his new team tonight. Markieff Morris sprained his left hand Tuesday but he is expected to suit up for the hosts. Even without Wall, we like the way the Wizards are playing and we're not sure that Irving is back to 100%. We'll go against the late move and back the hosts!
#21 North Carolina hosts #9 Duke as these teams battle in the highly competitive ACC. UNC got back on the right track over the weekend with a 96-65 demolition of Pittsburgh after losing 3 straight to Virginia tech, NC State and Clemson. Duke suffered a suprising out of conference loss to St. John's and their road form is a bit troubling at just 4-3 on the season. Nevertheless, we believe this Tar Heels team is quite a bit removed from the championship team and believe they don't have the class and talent to keep up with the ultra-talented Duke freshman who are beginning to figure things out. We believe the Blue Devils have the more reliable shooters and are better on the defensive glass. In a 50/50 game at worst we have to side with the underdogs!
I don't agree with this late move. Aside from a win over Wright St which came in a favourable situation, I've hardly been impressed with the Panthers this year. The Norse are still the class of the Horizon League and blasted the Panthers in the reverse fixture 91-64. Milwaukee is really down this year in my opinion and I doubt they will have much success on the offensive end tonight. Norse in another blowout.
Towson has struggled to cover the number in recent weeks as they area paltry 1-4 ATS in their last 5 and suffered some puzzling losses in that span to the likes of UNC Wilmington and James Madison. On the other side, Drexel has won their last 4 outright, including upsets over Northeastern and William & Mary. Still, this spread is far too small for me and the Dragons luck likely can't go on much longer, especially against a good defensive Tigers team. I deinitely don't expect another 60% shooting night for the Dragons and Towson has had some issues closing out games but have generally owned this matchup.
Delaware has lost 6 in a row and will be without 2 key contributors in Ryan Daly and Kevin Anderson. However, the Blue Hens have proven to be competent at home with a 2-4 record and 4-2 ATS against CAA opponents. Northeastern has hit a snag, losing 2 out of their last 3 games and surrendered 100 points to UNC-Wilmington last game. The hosts like to play at a slow pace and one thing they do well is taking care of the ball. 5.5 seemed to be a fair number but with the market moving to 7.5, there is value on the Hens.