College Basketball Picks (Nov. 10-16): 2-2 (-$50) College Basketball Picks (Nov. 17-23): 6-4 (+$400) College Basketball Picks (Nov. 24-30): 3-3 (+$150) College Basketball Picks (Dec. 1-7): 2-7 (-$1,160) College Basketball Picks (Dec. 8-14): 1-2 (-$460) College Basketball Picks (Jan. 19-25): 0-1 (-$330) College Basketball Picks (Jan. 26-Feb. 1): 4-4 (-$200) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 2-8): 7-4 (+$490) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 9-15): 7-5-1 (+$60) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 16-22): 8-5 (+$700) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 23-March 1): 3-4-1 (-$290) College Basketball Picks (March 2-8): 8-3 (+$1,460) College Basketball Picks (March 9-15): 4-3 (+$150) College Basketball Picks (March 16-22): 4-5 (-$210) College Basketball Picks (March 23-29): 3-1 (+$470) College Basketball Picks (April 4-6): 2-0 (+$500)
College Basketball Picks (Reg Season 2008-09): 66-53-2 (+$1,680)
Monday, April 6, 2009 (1-0, +$300)
Michigan State (31-6) at North Carolina (33-4) Line: North Carolina by 7.5.
I had North Carolina winning in my brackets, and I'm not backing off now. Tom Izzo is an incredible coach, but the Tar Heels just have way more talent than anyone else. As I've said repeatedly, it's a joke that they weren't ranked No. 1 all year.
College Basketball Pick: North Carolina 85, Michigan State 74 North Carolina -7.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Saturday, April 4, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Villanova (30-7) at North Carolina (32-4) Line: North Carolina by 7.
I have North Carolina beating Villanova in my pool, so I'm not going to change that now. The Wildcats could win, but I really like the Tar Heels here. They're just far and away the most talented team in college basketball, and it's a joke that they weren't ranked No. 1 all year.
College Basketball Pick: North Carolina 90, Villanova 77 North Carolina -7 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Sunday, March 29, 2009 (0-1, -$330)
Michigan State (29-6) at Louisville (31-5) Line: Louisville by 6.5.
Tom Izzo has once again done a great job with his Spartans, but I had Michigan State losing in the Elite Eight for a reason - I can't see the team hanging with Louisville. The Cardinals are just that good.
College Basketball Pick: Louisville 75, Michigan State 61 Louisville -6.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Saturday, March 28, 2009 (1-0, +$300)
Villanova (29-7) at Pittsburgh (31-4) Line: Pittsburgh by 2.
I had Villanova going to the Final Four in my bracket. The Wildcats beat the Panthers by 10 the first time they met, and I think the same thing could happen here. Pittsburgh has been really unimpressive; they struggled against East Tennessee State and Oklahoma State, and probably should have lost to Xavier.
USC (22-12) at Michigan State (27-6) Line: Michigan State by 4.
USC clobbered Boston College, so that may have dropped the line down a point or two. I'm not buying into that win; the Eagles suck, and the only reason I had them winning is because I was also down on the Trojans. Michigan State is a vastly superior team and should be able to handle business.
College Basketball Pick: Michigan State 77, USC 63 Michigan State -4 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Saturday, March 21, 2009 (1-1, +$80)
UCLA (26-8) at Villanova (27-7) Line: Villanova by 1.5.
This line is a lot lower than it should be. Villanova struggled against a very good American team, while UCLA beat everyone's favorite darlings in VCU. If you take out Thursday's games, this line would be -3 or -4, so we're getting very good value here with the Wildcats.
LSU (27-7) at North Carolina (29-4) Line: North Carolina by 11.
North Carolina looked very impressive in the first round, while LSU struggled to get by Butler. This line is a bit higher than it should be, considering that North Carolina seldom blows teams out (first-round result excluded).
College Basketball Pick: North Carolina 85, LSU 80 LSU +11 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Friday, March 20, 2009 (1-0, +$300)
Siena (26-7) at Ohio State (22-10) Line: Ohio State by 3.
OK, so the stuff I was doing throughout the regular season apparently doesn't work in the NCAA Tournament. Well, maybe what I should have done yesterday is go against the crappy Big Ten, which only deserved two teams (Michigan State and Purdue) in the NCAA Tournament.
College Basketball Pick: Siena 78, Ohio State 67 Siena +3 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Thursday, March 19, 2009 (0-3, -$770)
Binghamton (23-8) at Duke (28-6) Line: Duke by 22.
Binghamton hasn't lost in two months, while Duke hasn't beaten anyone by more than 11 points since Groundhog Day. Duke lives and dies by the three, and it should be noted that the Bearcats surrender just 31.7 percent from beyond the arc.
College Basketball Pick: Duke 78, Binghamton 70 Binghamton +22 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Radford (21-11) at North Carolina (28-4) Line: North Carolina by 25.
North Carolina seldom blows teams out and Radford hasn't lost by double digits in a while. The thing here is that Ty Lawson probably won't play.
College Basketball Pick: North Carolina 90, Radford 76 Radford +25 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
UT-Chattanooga (18-16) at Connecticut (27-4) Line: Connecticut by 20.5.
Chattanooga hasn't been blown out in a while, and Connecticut hasn't been the same team without Jerome Dyson. Since Dyson's injury, the Huskies are just 4-3, and their margin of victory has been: 8, 14, 11 and 7.
Bowling Green (19-13) at Creighton (26-7) Line: Creighton by 11.5.
I feel this line was set too high; Bowling Green hasn't lost by more than eight since the middle of January, while Creighton doesn't usually blow other teams out.
College Basketball Pick: Creighton 69, Bowling Green 68 Bowling Green +11.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Weber State (21-9) at San Diego State (23-9) Line: San Diego State by 12.5.
Weber State hasn't lost by double digits since late December. San Diego State, meanwhile, hasn't beaten this spread since early February.
College Basketball Pick: San Diego State 72, Weber State 70 Weber State +12.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Sunday, March 15, 2009 (0-1, -$110)
Florida State (24-8) at Duke (27-6) Line: Duke by 6.
I was hoping this line would be a lot higher. Florida State seldom gets blown out, and Duke often keeps things close as well.
College Basketball Pick: Duke 65, Florida State 64 Florida State +6 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Florida State (23-8) at North Carolina (27-3) Line: North Carolina by 9.
I went with Florida State against Duke a week ago because the Seminoles seldom get blown out. I'm going with them again here; North Carolina has only one huge victory in the past month, and Ty Lawson's injury will likely keep it that way.
College Basketball Pick: North Carolina 72, Florida State 69 Florida State +9 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Friday, March 13, 2009 (0-1, -$330)
Ball State (13-16) at Buffalo (19-10) Line: Buffalo by 7.5.
Once again, the oddsmakers are basing this line completely on the records of these two squads. Buffalo may be 19-10, but they haven't beaten a team by more than THREE points since Feb. 12. Ball State, meanwhile, hasn't suffered a loss greater than four points since Feb. 11. So, shouldn't this line be 3.5 or something?
College Basketball Pick: Ball State 63, Buffalo 60 Ball State +7.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Thursday, March 12, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Wyoming (18-12) at New Mexico (21-10) Line: New Mexico by 9.5.
This game should be pretty close. Wyoming has been competitive in every game they've played since the beginning of February, while New Mexico hasn't really blowed... blewed... uhh... blowned out many opponents recently.
College Basketball Pick: New Mexico 76, Wyoming 74 Wyoming +9.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
SMU (9-19) at Houston (18-10) Line: Houston by 11.
Here's what I wrote on Saturday:
Save for one game (understandably against Memphis), SMU hasn't gotten blown out since Jan. 28. As for Houston, the team is 2-3 in its previous five contests. Both of the victories were by five points.
Northern Illinois (10-19) at Kent State (18-13) Line: Kent State by 12.
Since the second week of February, Northern Illinois is 4-4. Two of the four losses were decided by five or less. Meanwhile, check out Kent State's margin of victory since Feb. 3: 4, 6, 3, 13, 4, 3 and 7. The Flashes don't blow teams out.
College Basketball Pick: Kent State 69, Northern Illinois 67 Northern Illinois +12 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, March 9, 2009 (0-1, -$110)
North Texas (19-11) at Western Kentucky (21-8) Line: Western Kentucky by 4.5.
Not much to choose from tonight, but North Texas looks appealing. Western Kentucky has been here before, so they know what it takes. That also means that everyone expects them to win, and that could be too much for a group of kids. North Texas is a good team; since the beginning of February, the Mean Green have lost just twice - by margins of three and four points.
College Basketball Pick: North Texas 77, Western Kentucky 72 North Texas +4.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Sunday, March 8, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Eastern Michigan (7-23) at Ball State (13-15) Line: Ball State by 8.
The oddsmakers are once again basing this point spread entirely off the records of these two teams (i.e. public perception). Eastern Michigan played terrible basketball earlier in the year, but they've been "hot" lately. By "hot," I mean that they're 4-4 straight up and 7-1 against the spread in their last eight, and their losses in that period have been by 5, 8, 9 and 12. I doubt they get blown out by a horrific Ball State squad that has won its recent games by 7, 2, 4 and 9. The Cardinals don't have a double-digit victory since the middle of January.
College Basketball Pick: Eastern Michigan 58, Ball State 57 Eastern Michigan +8 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Saturday, March 7, 2009 (2-1, +$280)
Duquesne (18-10) at Dayton (24-6) Line: Dayton by 6.
Interesting that this line is six... Duquesne hasn't lost by six or more since the middle of January. Dayton, meanwhile, is just 3-4 in its last seven, and the three victories have been by six or less.
This is yet another instance where Vegas has set a line based on the records of the two teams and not how they've been playing recently. Air Force hasn't won in a billion years, but check out its margin of defeat in recent games: 3, 3, 5, 12, 15, 10. Not bad. BYU, meanwhile, hasn't beaten anyone by more than 16 points since Feb. 11.
College Basketball Pick: BYU 73, Air Force 63 Air Force +22 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Friday, March 6, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
LMU (3-27) at San Diego (15-15) Line: San Diego by 14.
It may seem odd to say that a 3-27 team isn't getting much respect, but the fact remains that this line isn't indicative of how these teams have played recently. LMU was 5-2 against the spread in February. Only one of the losses - at Gonzaga - was a blowout. San Diego, meanwhile, hasn't beaten anyone by more than 10 points since Jan. 17.
College Basketball Pick: San Diego 61, LMU 56 LMU +14 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, March 5, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Stanford (16-11) at Arizona State (21-7) Line: Arizona State by 9.5.
Stanford has been playing some tough basketball lately. I know they're 2-5 in their last seven, but all but one of their games in February have been decided by single digits. Arizona State, meanwhile, hasn't really blown anyone out since Jan. 10. This should be close.
College Basketball Pick: Arizona State 72, Stanford 70 Stanford +9.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Colorado State (9-20) at San Diego State (19-8) Line: San Diego State by 15.5.
Colorado State's previous three losses have been by 2, 3 and 10. They also have a win in that span. Meanwhile, San Diego State hasn't covered a spread since Feb. 7, owning just two victories in that period. This line is way too high because it's based on the records of the two squads; and not how they've been playing recently.
College Basketball Pick: San Diego State 70, Colorado State 68 Colorado State +15.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Tuesday, March 3, 2009 (2-0, +$600)
Florida State (22-7) at Duke (24-5) Line: Duke by 12.
Losing a bet by two points sucks. Ugh. At any rate, I love Florida State here. The Seminoles have just two double-digits losses all year, and just one since Dec. 3. Duke, meanwhile, hasn't beaten anyone by 12 or more (the spread) since Feb. 1. Also, Florida State is 6-3 against the spread at Duke in the past nine years.
College Basketball Pick: Duke 73, Florida State 72 Florida State +12 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
Detroit (7-22) at Cleveland State (21-10) Line: Cleveland State by 17.
Why is this line so high? Well, we know why. Public perception. But reality is that Cleveland State hasn't beaten anyone by more than 15 since Jan. 8. Detroit, meanwhile, has played tough in most of their recent games.
College Basketball Pick: Cleveland State 64, Detroit 59 Detroit +17 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, March 2, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Davidson (24-6) at Elon (10-18) Line: Davidson by 14.
Davidson can't lose this game. Not with Stephen Curry. If they do, they'll lose their automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, should they somehow lose in their conference tournament.
Eastern Michigan (5-23) at Central Michigan (9-17) Line: Central Michigan by 9.
Eastern Michigan was a team I went against religiously earlier in the year, but they've played well recently; they've either won or lost by single digits since Feb. 7. I don't see why that should change here.
College Basketball Pick: Central Michigan 61, Eastern Michigan 58 Eastern Michigan +9 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Morehead State (16-14) at Tennessee-Martin (20-8) Line: Tennessee-Martin by 7.5.
Morehead State is an extremely competitive team. The last time they lost by more than seven points (spread is 7.5 here) was Dec. 18 - and that was by just eight points!
College Basketball Pick: Tennessee-Martin 75, Morehead State 74 Morehead State +7.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Thursday, February 26, 2009 (1-1, -$20)
Youngstown State (11-16) at Butler (23-4) Line: Butler by 17.
This line is way too high; it's based solely on the records and not on how these teams have played recently. Youngstown State has either won or lost by single digits in this past month. Butler, meanwhile, has just two victories of more than 17 points in the same time span.
College Basketball Pick: Butler 68, Youngstown State 66 Youngstown State +17 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Miami of Ohio (15-10) at Ohio (13-13) Line: Miami of Ohio by 1.
In Ohio University, I trust. At least when they're at home. Ohio is 5-1 straight up, 4-2 against the spread as hosts in MAC play. The Bobcats seldom lose at home.
College Basketball Pick: Ohio 66, Miami of Ohio 58 Ohio +1 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 (1-2, -$250)
Rice (8-18) at Central Florida (16-10) Line: Central Florida by 12.
Rice hasn't lost by more than 12 in a month. Central Florida, meanwhile, has just one victory in February. I feel as though this line is too high because of the disparity between the records. The spread is focusing on how these teams have played the whole year; not how they've performed recently.
College Basketball Pick: Central Florida 68, Rice 65 Rice +12 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Richmond (14-13) at Fordham (3-21) Line: Richmond by 11.
Going against Fordham again. They really suck. They've lost their last six by 19 or more.
Villanova (22-5) at DePaul (8-19) Line: Richmond by 11.
DePaul sucks. They've lost their last seven games by: 19, 45, 23, 23, 15, 19 and 22. It's pretty obvious they've thrown in the towel. The school really should fire the coach and revoke everyone's scholarship at this point.
Tulane (11-15) at Southern Miss (14-12) Line: Southern Miss by 7.
This line is too high, in my opinion. Tulane has just two double-digit losses since Jan. 3. Southern Miss, meanwhile, has lost six of seven. They also have just one victory of more than seven since Dec. 30.
College Basketball Pick: Tulane 67, Southern Miss 66 Tulane +7 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Sunday, February 22, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Wake Forest (20-4) at Duke (21-5) Line: Duke by 6.5.
Duke doesn't impress me. The Blue Devils haven't impressed college basketball bettors either, failing to cover their last five games. In fact, they're 4-9-1 against the spread since New Years. Wake Forest has just one loss of more than seven in that time span; this game could go down to the wire.
College Basketball Pick: Duke 81, Wake Forest 80 Wake Forest +6.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Saturday, February 21, 2009 (3-1, +$580)
Rhode Island (19-8) at Fordham (3-20) Line: Rhode Island by 17.5.
Four picks on Saturday, starting with Rhode Island.
You're not going to make a lot of money laying 17.5 on the road - unless the team you're betting against happens to be Fordham. Fordham is awful; they've lost their last five by 23 or more. Is it crazy to believe that this line should be 10 points higher?
College Basketball Pick: Rhode Island 85, Fordham 56 Rhode Island -17.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Stanford (15-9) at Oregon (6-20) Line: Stanford by 5.
I really don't understand this line. I thought it was shady until I saw that California was -6 at Oregon a few days ago. The Ducks are playing awful basketball right now, having lost their last three games by 18, 19 and 29. They've covered just two games since Jan. 4!
Denver (12-14) at Arkansas State (13-13) Line: Arkansas State by 5.
I feel as though this line is off by a few points. Denver's record is mediocre, but the team is playing really well. The Pioneers are 8-3 against the spead since Jan. 8, and all of their losses have been by nine points or less dating all the way back to Dec. 9! Meanwhile, Arkansas State hasn't even won a game since Jan. 24.
College Basketball Pick: Denver 65, Arkansas State 61 Denver +5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Saint Peter's (9-17) at Youngstown State (10-16) Line: Youngstown State by 7.5.
Another line that seems way too high. Saint Peter's has failed to cover only twice since December. They've beaten number in five of the past six games; the only exception was a loss to 21-7 Niagara. At 10-16, Youngstown State is not Niagara; in fact, the Penguins are 0-3 straight up and against the spread as favorites.
College Basketball Pick: Saint Peter's 69, Youngstown State 64 Saint Peter's +7.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Friday, February 20, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Dartmouth (6-16) at Penn (8-13) Line: Penn by 10.
I hate Duke. No, I'm not a Tarheel fan or anything, but the way they play sometimes really pisses me off. Laying 11, the Blue Devils were up by 12-17 for 95 percent of the second half. St. John's made a run to cut the lead to 10 with a minute left. Unfortunately, the Blue Devils missed FIVE free throws and had two turnovers in the final minute alone. Pathetic. Duke missed the cover by four.
Let's hope for better luck tonight. This line doesn't make much sense to me. Penn isn't that good, while Dartmouth has lost by double digits only once since Dec. 30.
College Basketball Pick: Penn 67, Dartmouth 63 Dartmouth +10 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, February 19, 2009 (1-2, -$240)
Duke (20-5) at St. John's (12-13) Line: Duke by 11.
Duke always schedules St. John's in the middle of conference play, so you'd think that they'd look past the pathetic Red Storm. Think again. Duke has beaten St. John's by double digits every year since the beginning of time. The reason why this line is so low is because the Blue Devils are on a four-game skid. Well, let's buy Duke low here because St. John's simply doesn't have the talent to hang with Coach K's crew.
College Basketball Pick: Duke 83, St. John's 61 Duke -11 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Wisconsin (16-9) at Indiana (6-18) Line: Wisconsin by 9.5.
One of the most frustrating games I've watched this year was the Illinois-Indiana tilt on Sunday. Indiana, a 10-point home dog, lost by 13. The Hoosiers were their own worst enemy, hitting just 11-of-24 from the free throw line. How do you go 11-of-24 from the charity stripe? That's embarrassing.
Well, here's to hoping that doesn't happen again. Indiana is playing really hard and should be able to cover against a Wisconsin team that is 2-4 in Big Ten road games. Besides, Indiana matches up much better against the Badgers than the Illini; Illinois had two big men that Indiana just couldn't contend with. Wisconsin is more of a smaller squad.
Northern Colorado (12-15) at Portland State (17-9) Line: Portland State by 11.
This line was made way too high to compensate for the difference in the records. Northern Colorado is a very competitive team that has only one double-digit loss since Jan. 6. They should be able to cover the number here.
College Basketball Pick: Portland State 74, Northern Colorado 71 Northern Colorado +11 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 (1-1, -$20)
Ball State (11-12) at Toledo (4-21) Line: Ball State by 1.5.
I'm going to fade Toledo. The Rockets haven't covered a game since Jan. 31, and they've beaten the spread only once since Jan. 20. In the past seven games, they've lost by 33, 5, 13, 28, 13, 9 and 13. I like my chances here with Ball State.
College Basketball Pick: Ball State 68, Toledo 57 Ball State -1.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Miami of Ohio (15-8) at Akron (16-9) Line: Akron by 3.
I love Akron at home. This is a huge game for the Zips. Meanwhile, the last time Miami of Ohio traveled, it lost at 7-16 Central Michigan.
College Basketball Pick: Akron 73, Miami of Ohio 57 Akron -3 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Seton Hall (14-10) at Marquette (21-4) Line: Marquette by 12.5.
Again, there aren't too many games on tonight, but one that caught my eye was this one. Seton Hall has been playing pretty well lately, while Marquette is on somewhat of a three-game skid. The Pirates have covered five of six and haven't lost a game by double digits since Jan. 18. I like them to keep this one close.
College Basketball Pick: Marquette 80, Seton Hall 75 Seton Hall +12.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, February 16, 2009 (1-0, +$200)
Louisiana Tech (10-15) at New Mexico State (13-12) Line: New Mexico State by 9.
You have to love it when you're taking +10 and your team loses by 13 despite hitting 11-of-24 free throws. As I told my friend Scott, "We could have hit a better percentage while on LSD."
There aren't many games to choose from tonight, but this one caught my eye. I think this line is way too high. Since Jan. 8, Louisiana Tech has either won or lost by eight points or less, save for one occasion. Meanwhile, New Mexico State has only beaten one team by more than eight points since Jan. 3.
College Basketball Pick: New Mexico State 70, Louisiana Tech 67 Louisiana Tech +9 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Sunday, February 15, 2009 (1-2, -$460)
Illinois (20-5) at Indiana (6-17) Line: Illinois by 10.
I understand the disparity between the records, but I don't get how Illinois can be favored by double digits. Take a look at how they've fared on the road in Big Ten play:
at Purdue - Win, 71-67
at Michigan - Loss, 74-64
at Michigan State - Loss, 63-57
at Minnesota - Loss, 59-36
at Wisconsin - Loss, 63-50
at Northwestern - Win, 60-59
They're 2-5 on the road and their two victories were by 1 and 4 points. Awesome.
Indiana, meanwhile, has just one victory in Big Ten play, but all but one of their home games have been decided by 10 points or less. The lone exception was a 93-81 loss to Ohio State on Jan. 31.
Michigan (15-10) at Northwestern (13-9) Line: Northwestern by 3.5.
Going with another Big Ten home team. This conference really stinks. Save for Michigan State, every Big Ten team has major problems scoring on the road. Michigan is a dreadful 1-6 as a visitor, while Northwestern is 11-3 (7-3 against the spread) as a host.
DePaul (8-17) at Louisville (18-5) Line: Louisville by 21.5.
When a team is 4-16 against the spread on the season, that's a clear indication that they're not trying hard. That definitely is the case with DePaul, a squad that has totally mailed it in. DePaul is the sort of team that will completely give up if it falls behind by double digits. Louisville is too talented to let them hang around. I hate laying 20-plus, so this isn't a big play.
Minnesota (19-5) at Penn State (17-8) Line: Penn State by 3.
This is a huge game for Penn State and I don't think the line is reflecting that. Minnesota's record is impressive, but they've really struggled lately; they've covered just one game since Jan. 15, and they simply can't score on the road. The Nittany Lions are 12-4 at home.
College Basketball Pick: Penn State 68, Minnesota 57 Penn State -3 (4 Units) -- Correct; +$400
Toledo (4-20) at Ohio (12-11) Line: Ohio by 12.5.
Once again, Ohio is awesome at home, while Toledo simply sucks. The Rockets are 6-15 against the spread this year and they've covered ony one of their past six contests.
Kansas (19-5) at Kansas State (17-7) Line: Kansas by 1.5.
Kansas State beat Kansas at home last year. Why is this important? It's the only time they've knocked off the Jayhawks at home in the past 11 years! The difference was Michael Beasley. Well, he's gone - and so is Kansas State's shot of beating Kansas again.
College Basketball Pick: Kansas 82, Kansas State 71 Kansas -1.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Purdue (18-6) at Iowa (13-12) Line: Purdue by 6.
I don't get why Purdue is favored by six. These Big Ten teams simply can't win on the road. Even a slop Iowa squad is 11-2 as a host.
Seton Hall (13-9) at DePaul (8-16) Line: Seton Hall by 1.5.
DePaul's just not putting forth any effort right now. They've lost their past four games by 23, 15, 21 and 22.
College Basketball Pick: Seton Hall 76, DePaul 65 Seton Hall -1.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, February 9, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Tennessee State (6-17) at Jacksonville State (11-11) Line: Jacksonville State by 12.
Tennessee State just doesn't care anymore. They've lost their past few games by 20-plus points. If they get down by double digits in this contest, they're the kind of team that'll just give up.
College Basketball Pick: Jacksonville State 84, Tennessee State 63 Jacksonville State -12 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Sunday, February 8, 2009 (1-0, +$300)
Western Michigan (7-14) at Akron (14-8) Line: Akron by 11.
Going with old reliable again - Ohio and Akron simply dominate at home. This line is way too low.
College Basketball Pick: Akron 76, Western Michigan 51 Akron -11 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Saturday, February 7, 2009 (3-2, +$150)
Pittsburgh (20-2) at DePaul (8-15) Line: Pittsburgh by 14.5.
Lots of value here with DePaul. No way Pittsburgh takes them seriously. A line of 14.5 is way too high. Right?
Eh... no. DePaul is garbage. Not only do they lack talent, they're not even trying hard. It's a joke. DePaul is the sort of team to give up if it gets down by double digits early. I think Pittsburgh wins this one going away.
Kent State (11-11) at Ball State (10-10) Line: Kent State by 3.5.
I don't know how these MAC teams do it, but they're pretty good at home. Ball State is 4-0 in conference home tilts, while Kent State struggles on the road (3-6). I have no idea why the Flashes are favored here.
College Basketball Pick: Ball State 63, Kent State 59 Ball State +3.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Arkansas (13-7) at Mississippi State (15-7) Line: Mississippi State by 7.5.
Mississippi State showed me something when it beat Kentucky on the road. The Bulldogs are 10-3 at home, so I like them to cover the touchdown and hook against an Arkansas squad that is just 1-4 on the road this year.
College Basketball Pick: Mississippi State 76, Arkansas 60 Mississippi State -7.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Eastern Michigan (3-19) at Ohio (11-10) Line: Ohio by 16.
I talked about DePaul quitting. Eastern Michigan's even worse. They're losing to everyone by 30 points. Ohio is unbeatable at home. I like them to cover the high number.
Northwestern (13-7) at Iowa (12-11) Line: Iowa by 2.
Northwestern had a huge victory over Wisconsin last week. They went on to struggle against Chicago State. Now, they have to go on the road where they haven't been successful (2-5). Iowa, meanwhile, is 10-2 as a host.
Northern Illinois (6-13) at Ohio (10-10) Line: Ohio by 13.5.
One thing that I should have gone with all year is betting blindly on Ohio at home. I simply forgot that for whatever reason, the Bobcats cover their home games at a 67-percent clip or better every year. I can't explain why, but it happens.
Alabama (13-8) at Vanderbilt (13-8) Line: Vanderbilt by 7.5.
Vanderbilt had been struggling for a while, but they just won on the road as big underdogs, so that has me thinking that they've got things back on track. It's very tough to win away games in the SEC; Alabama is 1-4 on the road this year.
Arizona (14-8) at Oregon State (10-10) Line: Arizona by 5.
I don't understand how Arizona is favored here. The Wildcats haven't won a single game on the road (0-6). Meanwhile, Oregon State has won four in a row, so they're playing with fire right now. This is a big statement game for them.
College Basketball Pick: Oregon State 66, Arizona 63 Oregon State +5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 (1-1, -$30)
Auburn (13-8) at Ole Miss (12-9) Line: Ole Miss by 3.5.
Ole Miss is a pretty good home team that just went on the road and knocked off Mississippi State as large underdogs. I don't trust Auburn to win as visitors here.
College Basketball Pick: Ole Miss 78, Auburn 66 Ole Miss -3.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
USC (15-6) at UCLA (17-4) Line: UCLA by 8.5.
These UCLA-USC games are always close. Seldom do they fail to go down to the wire. I think 8.5 points is way too much.
Iowa (12-9) at Illinois (17-4) Line: Illinois by 12.5.
I feel really sorry for Iowa here. The Hawkeyes, just 1-6 on the road, have to battle Illinois off a loss. Off a defeat, the Illini are 3-0 straight up and against the spread, and have beaten their opponents by an average score of 73-45.
Oregon (6-14) at Oregon State (9-10) Line: Oregon State by 3.5.
Both of these squads have losing records, but these are two teams moving in opposite directions. Oregon isn't playing well at all right now, and it appears as though head coach Ernie Kent has lost his players. Oregon State, meanwhile, is a young squad that has started winning lately under a new coach. The Beavers have been the neglected step-sister in this rivalry, so this is a huge statement game for them.
College Basketball Pick: Oregon State 75, Oregon 56 Oregon State -3.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Nebraska (12-7) at Texas Tech (11-9) Line: Texas Tech by 2.5.
Nebraska is 1-4 on the road. Texas Tech is 10-2 at home. Red Raiders win, right?
Wisconsin (12-8) at Northwestern (11-7) Line: Wisconsin by 1.
I can't tell you what the reason is, but winning on the road in the Big Ten is really difficult. Wisconsin always sucks in visiting arenas, while Northwestern is 9-2 at home this season. This is a bit of a statement game for the Wildcats.
Alabama (12-7) at Arkansas (12-5) Line: Arkansas by 5.5.
Alabama is 1-3 on the road this year, while Arkansas is 12-2 at home. Winning on the road in the SEC is very difficult for average or poor teams. The only thing that worries me here is that the Razorbacks have lost four in a row.
Michigan (14-6) at Ohio State (13-5) Line: Ohio State by 4.
Ohio State should be able to win this by a wide margin. It's tough to win on the road in the Big Ten, which would explain why the Wolverines are 1-3 as visitors. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, are 10-2 at home, and have beaten Michigan in seven of the past nine meetings in Columbus.
College Basketball Pick: Ohio State 68, Michigan 54 Ohio State -4 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Vanderbilt (12-7) at South Carolina (14-4) Line: South Carolina by 6.
Like Michigan, Vanderbilt is 1-3 on the road. South Carolina is 12-1 at home. Winning away is even tougher in the SEC.
College Basketball Pick: South Carolina 79, Vanderbilt 67 South Carolina -6 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Sunday, January 25, 2009 (0-1, -$220)
Florida (16-3) at Vanderbilt (12-6) Line: Florida by 1.
Call me crazy, but I don't think a team that's 1-2 on the road (sole victory coming at crappy Auburn) deserves to be favored as a visitor. Vanderbilt always plays the Gators well at home. They're 9-3 as hosts.
CS-Fullerton (4-5) at Montana State (3-3) Line: CS-Fullerton by 2.
This is the first time CS-Fullerton is favored this year, and I think that responsibility is too great for them. They're a sloppy team, turning the ball over 18 times per game. Montana State, much careful with the rock, should be able to win.
College Basketball Pick: Montana State 77, CS-Fullerton 70 Montana State +2 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Sunday, December 7, 2008 (1-1, +$80)
Niagara (5-2) at Loyola-Maryland (2-6) Line: Niagara by 5.5.
It figures that the one game I picked yesterday I got wrong, and the two selections I thought about listing (Michigan and Western Kentucky) I got right.
Time to turn this around. Loyola-Maryland takes care of the ball and I think this is a nice spot for them at home.
Brown (3-3) at Providence (4-3) Line: Providence by 16.
Providence is not a very good team. They've lost to some shaky squads this season, and are consequently 1-4 against the spread.
Brown, meanwhile, has hung with the likes of Rhode Island, so they should be able to cover versus disinterested Providence.
College Basketball Pick: Providence 74, Brown 64 Brown +16 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Rhode Island (5-2) at Northeastern (3-3) Line: Pick.
Hello, shady point spread! Rhode Island has beaten some good teams this year and nearly knocked off Duke. They're regarded as a Cinderella sleeper. However, they just had a tough game against Villanova, so they're due for a let-down against a capable Northeastern squad.
College Basketball Pick: Northeastrn 75, Rhode Island 68 Northeastern PK (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 (1-1, +$80)
South Carolina (4-1) at Princeton (2-2) Line: South Carolina by 12.
This would be a huge win for Princeton. I think it's a possibility because South Carolina really isn't that good. The Gamecocks may be 4-1, but they haven't covered a spread all year.
The Tigers like to play a slow game, so in a contest where points will be at a premium, taking the underdog seems pretty lucrative.
College Basketball Pick: South Carolina 66, Princeton 60 Princeton +12 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
LMU (0-6) at Arizona (4-1) Line: Arizona by 28.
LMU's 0-6 record has pushed this spread up way too high. They're actually 3-2 against the spread, so they tend to play close. Arizona, meanwhile, doesn't try hard when it doesn't have to.
Kent State (3-2) at Kansas (4-1) Line: Kansas by 12.
I'm not sure how Kansas will get up for Kent State. The Golden Flashes are a pretty solid squad and should be able to cover the number.
College Basketball Pick: Kansas 79, Kent State 75 Kent State +12 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Sunday, November 30, 2008 (1-0, +$200)
Northern Arizona (1-4) at Arizona (3-1) Line: Arizona by 17.5.
I don't see the motivation for Arizona here; they've looked pretty disinterested against their non-conference opponents this season, owning a meager 1-3 spread record. Northern Arizona is 1-4, but kept up with UNLV as a big dog.
Elon (1-2) at Virginia Tech (3-2) Line: Virginia Tech by 20.
Virginia Tech should have an easy time with Elon. This is the Hokies' final game before Christmas Break, so they'll be focused. Elon, meanwhile, has struggled this year in the wake of losing Scott Grable to a season-ending knee injury.
College Basketball Pick: Virginia Tech 84, Elon 52 Virginia Tech -20 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 (1-0, +$300)
Penn State (4-0) at Penn (1-2) Line: Penn State by 3.5.
What a terrible night for basketball. I lost the Toledo cover by two points, Idaho game by one point, and the Orlando Magic NBA pick by three points. Ugh.
I like Penn State this year. They had a lot of injuries last season, but everyone is now back. Penn is missing one of its best players, guard Darren Smith, who is out with a knee.
College Basketball Pick: Penn State 77, Penn 67 Penn State -3.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Monday, November 24, 2008 (1-2, -$130)
Toledo (0-2) at Florida International (2-1) Line: Florida International by 2.5.
I'm fading three of my favorites teams again today.
I don't like Florida International's chances without forwards Josue Soto and Alex Galindo.
College Basketball Pick: Toledo 69, Florida International 62 Toledo +2.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Eastern Michigan (1-3) at St. John's (3-1) Line: St. John's by 9.5.
Eastern Michigan looks lost without its best player, Carlos Medlock, who is out for the year. St. John's should cover easily.
College Basketball Pick: St. John's 77, Eastern Michigan 62 St. John's -9.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Idaho (2-2) at Eastern Washington (2-1) Line: Eastern Washington by 9.
I don't have much faith in Eastern Washington to cover this game without its starting point guard Adris DeLeon. Nine points is way too many to lay without a starting floor general.
College Basketball Pick: Eastern Washington 72, Idaho 71 Idaho +9 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Sunday, November 23, 2008 (1-0, +$300)
Saint Bonaventure (2-1) at Rutgers (3-0) Line: Rutgers by 10.
Ugh - not a good Saturday in college hoops.
Too many points for a Big East team taking on a perennially down A-10 squad. These teams are about even if you keep in mind that two of Rutgers' starters are out with injuries.
College Basketball Pick: Rutgers 77, Saint Bonaventure 72 Saint Bonaventure +10 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Saturday, November 22, 2008 (0-2, -$660)
Fresno State (1-1) at San Diego State (1-1) Line: San Diego State by 16.5.
I went against San Diego State on Monday night, and I'm doing the same thing here. The Aztecs are a very good team, but their top player, Lorenzo Wade, has been suspended for allegedly stealing a TV. Unfortunately, Wade found out that it was an old black-and-white set, and tried to give it back. That's when he was caught. OK, maybe I made up some of that story.
Fresno State showed me something when it covered at Saint Mary's, an NCAA Tournament-caliber squad. San Diego State is not as good as Saint Mary's, especially without Wade.
College Basketball Pick: San Diego State 68, Fresno State 60 Fresno State +16.5 (4 Units) -- Incorrect; -$440
Arkansas (2-0) at Missouri State (1-1) Line: Missouri State by 2.5.
Arkansas sucks. Let's get that out of the way. Missouri State's the better team. But they won't be on Saturday; two of the host's three best players (guards Justin Fuehrmeyer and Shane Laurie) are out. Fuehrmeyer has a sprained ankle, while Laurie is coming off a concussion.
College Basketball Pick: Arkansas 71, Missouri State 62 Arkansas +2.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Friday, November 21, 2008 (1-0, +$200)
North Carolina (2-0) at UC-Santa Barbara (1-1) Line: North Carolina by 17.5.
It may not sound appealing to go against North Carolina, but that's what I'm going to do here.
The Tar Heels are really banged up. Everyone knows about Tyler Hansbrough's injury. Guard Marcus Ginyard has also been out. Now, impressive freshman Tyler Zeller, who has taken Hansbrough's place in the lineup, is out for the year.
North Carolina easily dispatched Kentucky a few nights ago, but couldn't cover against Penn.
UC-Santa Barbara is a solid team expected to contend for an automatic NCAA Tournament bid out of the Big West.
College Basketball Pick: North Carolina 80, UC-Santa Barbara 70 UC-Santa Barbara +17.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, November 20, 2008 (1-0, +$300)
Florida International (2-0) at Washington (1-1) Line: Washington by 18.
Stupid Cal Irvine can't beat Eastern Washington and their backup point guard. You guys suck.
One may wonder why Washington is favored by 18 when it just lost to Portland and struggled to beat Eastern Kentucky. Well, Florida International is missing its best player, Alex Galindo. Jose Soto, a JUCO transfer expected to contribute immediately, is also out. A mid-major like Florida International needs all hands on deck to knock off a high major like Washington. Without Galindo and Soto, that won't happen.
College Basketball Pick: Washington 86, Florida International 59 Washington -18 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 (1-2, -$240)
Niagara (1-0) at Villanova (2-0) Line: Villanova by 18.5.
Villanova is missing considerable fire power here, as starting shooting guard Dwayne Anderson is out with a foot injury. Their backup center is doubtful as well. Niagara, completely healthy, is a sleeper to qualify for the NCAA Tournament this year, so they definitely have the talent to keep up with the Wildcats.
Murray State (1-0) at Arkansas State (1-1) Line: Arkansas State by 1.
I don't get this line. Murray State is favored to win its conference. The Racers are experienced with four starters returning. Meanwhile, Arkansas State, a mediocre team, is missing one of the key transfers they were depending on to compete in the Sun Belt conference.
With a shady line like this, could this game be fixed? I don't see the point. There won't be any bets on this game, so Vegas doesn't stand to win or lose much money either way.
College Basketball Pick: Murray State 84, Arkansas State 70 Murray State +1 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
Eastern Washington (0-1) at UC-Irvine (0-1) Line: UC-Irvine by 7.5.
UC-Irvine was debacled in its first game, though it was playing USC. The Anteaters should have an easier time against Eastern Washington, a team missing its starting point guard. Adris DeLeon is out because of academics.
Hey, idiot, go to class, and the teachers will give you an easy A. I've seen it happen before!
College Basketball Pick: UC-Irvine 65, Eastern Washington 50 UC-Irvine -7.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 (1-0, +$200)
Arizona State (1-0) at San Diego State (1-0) Line: Arizona State by 3.
San Diego State is a team predicted to content for the Mountain West title this year. Unfortunately, their top scorer, Lorenzo Wade, has been suspended for allegedly stealing a TV. Let's hope it was a flat screen!
College Basketball Pick: Arizona State 80, San Diego State 69 Arizona State -3 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, November 17, 2008 (1-0, +$300)
Eastern Michigan (1-0) at Purdue (1-0) Line: Purdue by 20.5.
Eastern Michigan is supposed to be pretty good this season, so why are they massive underdogs? Well, they just lost their start point guard Carlos Medlock for the year. I don't know how the Eagles are going to cover without their stud floor general.
Columbia (1-0) at Seton Hall (1-0) Line: Seton Hall by 13.5.
Columbia may have won its first game of the season, but don't expect too many victories for the Lions any time soon. Columbia lost four starters to graduation and was counting on forward Brian Grimes to lead the team. Unfortunately, Grimes tore his ACL a week ago and will miss the entire season. I don't know how the Lions are going to compete with a Seton Hall squad that returns three starters, including its point guard.
I usually don't like laying high numbers, but the talent disparity is too much to overlook here.
College Basketball Pick: Seton Hall 77, Columbia 57 Seton Hall -13.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Rutgers (1-0) at Delaware (0-0) Line: Delaware by 4.
Rutgers, a team with just 11 wins last year, returns all five starters. Great news, right? Not really. Forwards Jaron Griffin and J.R. Inman, and guard Anthony Farmer have been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.
I like Delaware this season. No, they didn't post a winning record last year, but the Blue Hens are more experienced and now boast a dynamic background comprised of senior Marc Egerson and junior Brian Johnson. Eric Maynor is the best point guard in the CAA, but Johnson isn't far behind.
UT-Chattanooga (0-0) at Tennessee (0-0) Line: Tennessee by 18.
Tough spot for Tennessee. The Vols are a team returning just two starters. Their sixth man last year, J.P. Prince, expected to step into the starting rotation, is out with a shoulder. They have a new point guard running the show, and their backup point guard is also out. Chattanooga isn't that good, but they have more experience, and could cover the number.