It was a decent enough day yesterday – I am not saying profitable, because we broke even on the plays that I provided, but it wasn’t bad by any means either. As the basketball season ramps up and the games are a bit more engaging (like we had yesterday) they get a bit easier to cap. Motivation is a big issue in basketball and it isn’t always as easy to figure out.
Gonzaga vs. Texas, 9:30 ET
This is the headliner game of the night for sure. Gonzaga, the number two team in the nation, heads to Austin, Texas to take on the number 11-ranked Texas Longhorns. The year has started easier for Texas than it has for Gonzaga. In the last matchup for the ‘Zags, we saw them narrowly escape the game against Michigan State (who, by the way, look much better than expected). Texas, on the other hand, has had two very mediocre or garbage opponents. They destroyed their last opponent, Houston Christian, by 51 points. This will be a much more challenging matchup. I think this game is likely to be fairly close and that makes sense with the spread of just -2 in favor of the home team. I think both teams have a good shot at winning the game, so it probably makes sense to take the points, but I prefer to play the under 144. Both have the capability to play tough defense and as the game gets into the final minutes we probably will see the defense focus up a bit more.
Michigan vs. Pittsburgh, 6:00 ET
There isn’t much of a question in this one about which team is the better squad. Michigan comes into the game at 2-0 after winning their openers at home. They didn’t play particularly well against Eastern Michigan in their most recent game and only were able to escape with a five-point victory. They were actually losing at halftime as well so it wasn’t a great start to the game. Pittsburgh lost their last game to West Virginia and it was a really ugly outing from them. They were blown out by 25 points on their home floor. They should be looking to rebound and reestablish themselves in this game. Part of the reason for their loss was they shot just under 22% from deep, and allowed their opponents to shoot 38% from three, but that’s not enough of a reason to get blown out like that. Michigan, if they want to, will come out and be able to smack around Pitt. They are the better team, I’m going to play them to cover the -8.5. One word of warning, the motivation is on Pitt here – they’ll want to avenge the bad loss, and Michigan will likely care about just winning. I just feel like this is too close. If it somehow reaches double digits, I’ll put some on Pitt.
One smaller play that I like for tonight to note: I like Seton Hall at home tonight against Iowa. Iowa is a talented squad, but it can be a challenge to play at Seton Hall and they typically have a decent defense. I think Iowa’s offense is better but Seton Hall’s defense is better. I’ll lean on the defensive team and home team in this one and take Seton Hall to cover -1.5 at -105.
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