Took the day off yesterday, not much of interest.
Don't like these huge cards, always feel like I'm missing out on some good value games because there are just too many to look at.
Record: 8-8 +10u
PENN ST -3: (7U)
Penn State hasn't looked bad since Big Ten play began; which should be a surprise since they're at the bottom of the conference this year. Though their record in conference is 0-4, they're 2-2 ATS, with covers at Minnesota and at Illinois. Today they're fortunate enough to roll into the gym of the only team in conference that is head and shoulders worse than them; Iowa. This team is simply garbage. They have very little leadership (except when organizing the team to play quarters) they live and die by the 3, but don't shoot the 3 all that well nor with any consistency. I will fade Iowa and continue to fade Iowa until they cover more than 1 game in a row.
OHIO STATE -5: (10U)
BIG TIME PAYBACK GAME. OSU got trounced by Wisconsin on the road less than a month ago. Of course, Wisconsin is unstoppable at home and Turner (OSU's soul) was out with his broken back. Add to the revenge factor that this will be Turner's first game back at home after recovering from, can I say it again, a broken back, and I think you might be surprised to see the final score on this one. Lastly, while Wisconsin has been a covering machine (10-5 ATS), that's supported by an undefeated home record. On the flip side, they've have been mortal away from home with 4 of those 5 ATS losses coming on the road. I expect it to be a crazy crowd and I expect Ohio State to cover.
MARYLAND +2: (5U)
BC is having its ATS trouble, covering only 1 of its last 7. Now a solid Maryland club rolls into town looking to bounce back from its overtime road loss to Wake Forest (though they did cover). The key to this game for Maryland is Vasquez, he'll score his usual 25-30, but what he can't afford to do it commit 5-10 turnovers. If he keeps his head in the game and takes care of the pelota, Maryland should win this outright.
Leans: Watching Mich St line, too high for me right now, but I'd love it under DD. Also leaning/watching Xavier, Gonzaga, and St. Mary's.
Tuesday 4-1 +17u
Wednesday 3-3 +5.5u (lost two picks by a combined 3pts, but late add of UNLV helped)
Total: 7-4 (+22.5u)
Today's Picks: Not much out there
MICHIGAN -14: (7U)
Seems obvious, everyone and their mother is loading up on IU on this board and consensus has it 2/1 for IU, but for some reason the line has now crept up to 14. Seems too good to be true, right? Maybe it is.
I follow the Big Ten and specifically my alma matter IU closer than any other group, though my any means am I touting myself as a Big Ten or IU expert. What I can tell you was that IU was wretched at the start of the season. Then, slowly, they started playing a bit better, some would say even beginning to gel as a team. Then Creek, who was their most reliable scorer and leader, blew out his knee. IU did surprise me by using the loss of Creek as motivation and beat Michigan at home their first game without Creek. Since then they were crushed on the road at Ohio St., and were beaten at home by Illinois.
Now, they're at Michigan, where historically they've played well, covering 9 of their last 11. All seems too easy. And if I have one rule, it's whenever everything, and I mean everything, points to one team, go the other way. Which is while I'll be looking for a blowout tonight.
SOUTH ALABAMA ML -125: (2.5U)
S. ALA has dominated this series historically, winning the last 6. With pts taken out of the equation, this makes it a bit easier to follow the trend. Additionally, S. ALA has covered its last 4 road contests. This line does look enticing, which gives me pause, which is why this is a small play.
OREGON PK: (5U)
ASU has had major road issues so far this year and against a relatively hot team in Oregon, I suspect they'll continue. ASU has covered 7 of the last 10, but were only on the winning side of those games half the time, so though normally this would cause me to hesitate, an even line eases my nerves. I think Oregon wins a close one.
WASHINGTON ST +4: (7U)
Appears that Wash St. will be active with the zone against Cal to slow down Randle, Cal's top player. Judging by Cal's losses this year to other teams that played them zone (Syracuse, Ohio St., and most recently UCLA), I suspect the trend to continue. Additionally, this is Cal's first in conference road game and though they start 4 seniors, the road can only make handling the zone and limited turnovers even more difficult.
ST MARY'S -4 (buy the hook): (5U)
This one is simple, until they don't cover at home, I'll keep on riding along. Zags are playing well as of late, but St. Mary's is a tough, tough place to play. Should be a good game.
YTD: 0-0 Units are a percentage of my roll
PENN ST +9 (bought the hook): 10u
While it's really tough to win at Assembly Hall, it's not as tough to cover there. Illinois has only covered 1 of their last 3 at home. On the flip side, line makers seem to have given us some value on Penn State due to its last two losses. They won't win this, but they'll keep it under double digits.
TENN ST +13 (bought the hook): 5u
Iowa is all sorts of bad and Tenn St, while nothing great in their own right, has made a bit of a knack of covering on the road against a favorite (6-1 ATS). Continue the Iowa fade.....
BAYLOR -4 (bought the hook): 7u
Everytime the boards of line makers doubt Baylor they've been proven wrong (SC, Xavier, ASU). Though they are a road favorite here I suspect that we'll continue to see Baylor's athleticism and style of play dominate this one.
MIAMI OH -1.5: 2u
A pure play on the crazy nature of this line. 10-5 team vs 3-11 team and the 3-11 team is favored. Now, I understand that this is a conference game and these two teams see to have a knack for winning against each other on their own floor. Other than that...there's no reason in hell that Miami OH should be favored here.
KANSAS ST -9: 7u
Kansas State has owned this series lately. I am a bit weary of how they respond after a loss, but I do put some stock into the fact that at least they were not a beaten favorite against Missouri. Meaning, they have yet to lose as a favorite, let alone a home favorite. Tex AM is a solid club but they're on the road here with Texas on deck. I'd put more on this, but the line is a bit high for my taste (love to see this line around 7, but I don't think that's going to happen).
GOOD LUCK TO ALL
Line moved down a bit, my book has Utah -5.5 now. Pepperdine is a mess of a team....how much does Utah have to really do to beat them and beat them soundly?
First play of the season for me: Chi +3
Bulls thus far this year have been brutal on the road, though the majority of their losses on the road (4 of 7) occurred during the "circus trip", which just ended.
They've now had 4 days to recover from their what was and will be their toughest road trip of the season and they now take a 60 minute bus ride up to Milwaukee to play a Bucks team that has floundered lately, losing their last 4 (3 road, 1 home). Jennings has been a spark for them, but their missing a lot of size inside (no Bogut or Moute).
Expect a HUGE game from Deng and Rose (last time they played Deng went for 24pts/20rbs)....I would have actually predicted a Bulls blow out, except without Kirk, I see Milwaukee's guards scoring a bit more.
Might be worth waiting for the line to jump higher, I think most action will be on the Bucks, pushing the line to 3.5 or 4 by game time.
GL to all.