College Basketball Picks (Jan. 4-10): 4-5-1 (-$220) College Basketball Picks (Jan. 11-17): 8-3 (+$1,230) College Basketball Picks (Jan. 18-24): 5-4 (+$630) College Basketball Picks (Jan. 25-31): 3-5 (-$830) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 1-7): 4-4 (-$200) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 8-14): 3-3 (-$170) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 15-21): 4-1 (+$780) College Basketball Picks (Feb. 22-28): 3-2 (+$150) College Basketball Picks (March 1-7): 2-4 (-$590) College Basketball Picks (March 8-14): 2-1 (+$180) College Basketball Picks (March 15-21): 6-4 (+$300) College Basketball Picks (March 22-28): 1-4 (-$690) College Basketball Picks (April 3-5): 1-1 (-$130)
College Basketball Picks (Reg Season 2009-10): 46-40-1 (+$880) College Basketball Picks (Reg Season 2008-09): 66-53-2 (+$1,680)
Monday, April 5, 2010 (1-0, +$200)
Duke (34-5) at Butler (33-4) Line: Duke by 7.
I feel like no one is giving a Butler a chance here. Everyone saw the Blue Devils debaclize West Virginia and assume the same thing will happen here. It could, but Butler is a very good team that beat Syracuse and Kansas State. They're no fluke. Plus, they're at home.
College Basketball Pick: Duke 75, Butler 74 Butler +7 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Saturday, April 3, 2010 (0-1, -$330)
Michigan State (28-8) at Butler (32-4) Line: Butler by 1.
I'm rooting for Butler here, but I like Michigan State to win. Tom Izzo keeps getting points, and he keeps covering (and winning). He's an amazing coach who should never be an underdog in the NCAA Tournament.
College Basketball Pick: Michigan State 72, Butler 69 Michigan State +1 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Sunday, March 28, 2010 (0-1, -$220)
Baylor (28-7) at Duke (32-5) Line: Duke by 4.
If you told me Kentucky would shoot 2-of-25 from three, I would have bet West Virginia. I tweeted, "It's like Kentucky's shooting threes with those oversized carnival basketballs." It was ridiculous, but what can you do?
I like Baylor here; in my opinion, the better team is getting the points. Duke is playing well, but the Bears have the better athletes. I didn't think the Blue Devils would make it past the Elite Eight, and if I'm right, it'll be one of the few things I've been correct about in this 2010 NCAA Tournament.
College Basketball Pick: Baylor 82, Duke 72 Baylor +4 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Saturday, March 27, 2010 (0-1, -$330)
West Virginia (30-6) at Kentucky (35-2) Line: Kentucky by 4.
Three things going against West Virginia here: First, they don't have a true point guard - and against John Wall, that's not good. Second, Bob Huggins chokes in the NCAA Tournament. He hasn't played a tough team yet, so this is his first opportunity to do so. And third, Kentucky simply has the better players.
College Basketball Pick: Kentucky 80, West Virginia 70 Kentucky -4 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Friday, March 26, 2010 (0-1, -$220)
Northern Iowa (30-4) at Michigan State (26-8) Line: Michigan State by 1.5.
Michigan State would win this game if Kalin Lucas were playing. But the loss of Lucas is too much; Northern Iowa is a very good team that should have been given a No. 4-6 seed. I think they win this one.
College Basketball Pick: Northern Iowa 64, Michigan State 60 Northern Iowa +1.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Thursday, March 25, 2010 (1-1, +$80)
Butler (30-4) at Syracuse (30-4) Line: Syracuse by 6.5.
Historically, most Cinderella teams fall off in the Sweet 16. I think this is where Butler gets eliminated. Syracuse has the better athleticism and great 3-point defense to limit Butler's offense.
Cornell (29-4) at Kentucky (34-2) Line: Kentucky by 8.5.
I'm openly rooting for Cornell here. It's the classic good guys versus bad guys. The Big Red is what college basketball should be all about - a bunch of student athletes playing as a team and pulling off upsets in the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky, meanwhile, is everything college basketball shouldn't be - a group of individuals using the school as a one-and-done stepping stone for the NBA. These individuals are coached by John Calipari, a scumbag who will do anything for money. I'm convinced that he'd bolt for Kentucky at this very moment if, say, Drexel suddenly decided it wanted to pay him $50 million.
Unfortunately, I love the Wildcats to cover this spread. As I said earlier, most Cinderellas are done in the Sweet 16. Also, Cornell's magical run has lowered the spread; the true line is Kentucky -12 to -13. We're getting lots of value with the much more talented athletes.
California (24-10) at Duke (30-5) Line: Duke by 6.5.
Another epic fail by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee: Putting Cal in as a No. 8 seed. All of this talk about the Pac 10 being an inferior conference this year was bulls***. Pac 10 teams are now 3-0 in the Big Dance. Perhaps Arizona State should have gotten an at-large bid over a crap team like Utah State, Texas or Wake Forest?
This Cal squad reminds me a lot of last year's Villanova team that knocked off Duke. Let's just hope they don't have anyone like Scottie Reynolds who pulled an Aurora Snow and choke like a dog.
College Basketball Pick: California 78, Duke 76 California +6.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Saturday, March 20, 2010 (1-1, -$130)
Saint Mary's (27-5) at Villanova (25-7) Line: Villanova by 4.5.
People have a short memory. Everyone saw Villanova struggle against Bob Morris in the first round, which has pushed this line down from about -6 or -6.5 to -4.5. We're getting a lot of value here.
Were the Wildcats' struggles against Bobby Morris legitimate? I don't think so. This Villanova team is pretty much the same one that reached the Final Four last year. And in that tournament run, they pulled the same crap against American University in the first round, trailing by 10 at halftime.
I think this is a double-digit victory for Villanova.
College Basketball Pick: Villanova 83, Saint Mary's 70 Villanova -4.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Old Dominion (27-8) at Baylor (26-7) Line: Baylor by 4.
Baylor's another team that didn't look too good on Thursday, but that might have been because of first-round jitters. This Bears team is very talented, and I expect them to beat a pretty pedestrian Old Dominion squad.
College Basketball Pick: Baylor 77, Old Dominion 67 Baylor -4 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Friday, March 19, 2010 (2-0, +$400)
Missouri (22-10) at Clemson (21-10) Line: Clemson by 1.5.
This is a great matchup for Missouri; Clemson turns the ball over a lot, while Missouri forces the most turnovers in the country.
New Mexico State (22-11) at Michigan State (24-8) Line: Michigan State by 13.
I feel like this line is inflated just based on the fact that Michigan State is playing. The Spartans have limped down the stretch, while New Mexico State has been really hot lately. It wouldn't surprise me if Michigan State lost this contest.
College Basketball Pick: Michigan State 72, New Mexico State 68 New Mexico State +13 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, March 18, 2010 (1-2, -$250)
Old Dominion (26-8) at Notre Dame (23-11) Line: Notre Dame by 2.5.
A small play on an early game. Old Dominion is a one-man team that struggles to score. Notre Dame is better.
College Basketball Pick: Notre Dame 76, Old Dominion 67 Notre Dame -2.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
San Diego State (25-8) at Tennessee (25-8) Line: Tennessee by 3.5.
These Mountain West teams are terrible, and I'm going against the worst one of the bunch.
College Basketball Pick: Tennessee 79, San Diego State 65 Tennessee -3.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Wake Forest (19-10) at Texas (24-9) Line: Texas by 5.
Texas is 2-9 against the spread in its past 11 games because the team lost its point guard. The Longhorns are awful.
College Basketball Pick: Wake Forest 70, Texas 68 Wake Forest +5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 (1-0, +$300)
Jackson State (19-12) at Mississippi State (23-11) Line: Mississippi State by 20.5.
I don't know which tournament this is, but I like Jackson State. Mississippi State doesn't have the offense to blow teams out by 20-plus (they haven't won a game by more than 13 since January), and besides, why would they even try here? The Bulldogs are too upset that they didn't make it to the NCAA Tournament.
College Basketball Pick: Mississippi State 67, Jackson State 58 Jackson State +20.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Thursday, March 11, 2010 (1-0, +$200)
Texas (24-8) at Baylor (24-6) Line: Texas by 1.
Texas is just 2-8 against the spread since Groundhog Day. They lost their starting point guard around that time and have struggled ever since. Baylor's the better team.
Fairfield (22-9) at Siena (26-6) Line: Siena by 8.
Siena missed the cover by two points yesterday, but I'm going with them again. The Saints are a very good team hitting their stride right now. They know what it takes to win in March.
College Basketball Pick: Siena 81, Fairfield 66 Siena -8 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Sunday, March 7, 2010 (0-1, -$220)
Rider (17-15) at Siena (25-6) Line: Siena by 12.
I made a lot of money betting against Siena earlier in the year. Siena's a great team, and it appears as though they're hitting their stride now. They know what it takes to win in March, and they've already clobbered Rider twice this season.
College Basketball Pick: Siena 81, Rider 65 Siena -12 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Friday, March 5, 2010 (1-0, +$200)
Eastern Illinois (19-11) at Murray State (28-4) Line: Murray State by 13.
There's a lot of pressure on top-seeded Murray State in this conference tournament. And Eastern Illinois is too good to be 13-point underdogs; they haven't even lost since January.
College Basketball Pick: Murray State 79, Eastern Illinois 71 Eastern Illinois +13 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Thursday, March 4, 2010 (1-1, -$20)
UNC-Asheville (15-15) at Coastal Carolina (27-5) Line: Coastal Carolina by 14.5.
Coastal Carolina is a great mid-major, but this is a lot of pressure. They're expected to win this semi-final, but UNC-Asheville isn't too shabby. I think the underdog covers.
UNC-Greensboro (6-21) at Davidson (14-14) Line: Davidson by 14.
As I wrote on Saturday, the Davidson point spreads have been inflated all year based on how great they've been the past two years. I just wish I realized this sooner; Davidson is 8-17 against the spread this season. But anyway, I'm taking UNC-Greensboro here. Despite their record, the Spartans have only one double-digit loss since Jan. 14.
Furman (11-15) at Davidson (13-13) Line: Davidson by 12.5.
I feel like Davidson's name is inflating this line. In fact, it's why they're 8-15 against the spread this year. Davidson has only blown out one opponent in the past two months, while Furman has kept games close.
Georgia Southern (6-15) at West Carolina (17-5) Line: West Carolina by 15.5.
Wow. I mean, what can you do? I had Evansville +12.5 yesterday. They were up six at halftime. Creighton comes back, takes the lead and ends up winning by 13. How does that happen?
West Carolina hasn't been blowing teams out lately, and Georgia Southern has only lost by more than 15.5 once this month against a conference opponent.
College Basketball Pick: West Carolina 75, Georgia Southern 68 Georgia Southern +15.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Southern Utah (6-15) at South Dakota State (11-11) Line: South Dakota State by 14.
Call me crazy, but an 11-11 team doesn't deserve to be favored by 14, especially when its opponent has been competitive lately. The Jackrabbits of South Dakota State are just 2-3 in their last six games, winning by 6 and 1.
College Basketball Pick: South Dakota State 73, Southern Utah 65 Southern Utah +14 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 (1-1, -$130)
Evansville (6-15) at Creighton (11-11) Line: Creighton by 12.5.
Creighton isn't that good and hasn't won by double digits since before Christmas. Evansville is competitive.
Sacramento State (7-14) at Weber State (13-7) Line: Weber State by 17.
Sacramento State seldom gets "blowed out," as Emmitt would say. Shocker - I like the points.
College Basketball Pick: Weber State 76, Sacramento State 65 Sacramento State +17 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 (0-2, -$550)
Illinois-Chicago (5-14) at Wright State (12-8) Line: Wright State by 18.5.
This spread is inflated because of the record disparity and Illinois-Chicago's losing streak. However, aside from a recent loss to Butler, the Flames have been really competitive. Wright State doesn't blow anyone out either.
College Basketball Pick: Wright State 68, Illinois-Chicago 59 Illinois-Chicago +18.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
New Orleans (7-13) at Middle Tennessee State (11-10) Line: Middle Tennessee State by 15.
This line is way too high. Middle Tennessee State seldom blows anyone out, and New Orleans usually plays close games.
College Basketball Pick: Middle Tennessee State 67, New Orleans 61 New Orleans +15 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 (2-0, +$500)
Evansville (6-13) at Missouri State (14-6) Line: Missouri State by 14.
This spread is inflated because of the record disparity and Evansville's losing streak. However, Evansville has been competitive lately. I think they cover.
College Basketball Pick: Missouri State 73, Evansville 66 Evansville +14 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Tulane (6-12) at UTEP (13-5) Line: UTEP by 17.
Another inflated number. UTEP has only one blowout win in the past month, while Tulane hasn't lost by more than 15 points since the beginning of the season.
Fordham (2-14) at Saint Louis (11-6) Line: Saint Louis by 17.5.
Stupid Illinois. They were up by four at halftime, but allowed Purdue to orchestrate a 17-4 run to open the second half... and yet Illinois still managed to lose by only six.
This spread is out of control. Saint Louis seldom blows anyone out. Fordham may be 2-14, but they haven't lost against the spread since they played Villanova in the middle of January. And Saint Louis is not Villanova.
College Basketball Pick: Saint Louis 64, Fordham 58 Fordham +17.5 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 (0-1, -$220)
Purdue (14-3) at Illinois (12-6) Line: Purdue by 4.
It's tough to travel on a weeknight in college sports, and Purdue is not playing well at all right now. Illinois is 10-0 at home.
Manhattan (7-10) at Siena (14-4) Line: Siena by 17.
Siena is a great team out of the MAAC and will be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament, but their winning streak has inflated this line. Manhattan seldom gets blown out, so I think they cover this number.
College Basketball Pick: Siena 77, Manhattan 66 Manhattan +17 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Niagara (10-9) at Marist (1-16) Line: Niagara by 13.5.
The disparity between these records has inflated the line. Marist is showing some signs of life, while Niagara has just one win this month.
Marist (1-15) at Loyola-Maryland (8-8) Line: Loyola-Maryland by 14.
Betting on a 1-15 team is never fun, but I think Marist is the right side. The disparity of the records between these teams, as well as Marist's losing streak has inflated the line. Loyola-Maryland struggles to score and doesn't blow anyone out.
Florida Atlantic (7-9) at Western Kentucky (9-5) Line: Western Kentucky by 11.5.
Western Kentucky is not a good offensive team and consequently has trouble blowing teams out; Florida Atlantic, meanwhile, usually keeps things close. The line is inflated here because of the records, so I'm taking the points.
College Basketball Pick: Western Kentucky 67, Florida Atlantic 64 Florida Atlantic +11.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 (2-1, +$380)
Delaware (5-11) at Northeastern (9-7) Line: Northeastern by 16.
This line is way too high. Northeastern has only beaten one team by more than 12 points all year, while Delaware has been very competitive lately despite its record.
Saint Joseph's (5-9) at Rhode Island (12-2) Line: Rhode Island by 15.
Look at Rhode Island's margin of victory since Thanksgiving: 5, 4, 1, 5, 11, 3, 9, 4, 10.
The oddsmaker has made this number too high because of the disaprity in the teams' records.
College Basketball Pick: Rhode Island 78, Saint Joseph's 70 Saint Joseph's +15 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 (2-0, +$500)
Penn State (8-7) at Illinois (11-5) Line: Illinois by 9.
I like Penn State here; Illinois is a sloth Big Ten team that has trouble scoring and consequently doesn't blow anyone out. Penn State played Minnesota close on the road recently, and I feel as though they'll stick with Illinois.
College Basketball Pick: Illinois 64, Penn State 60 Penn State +9 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Tennessee State (4-13) at Iowa (5-11) Line: Iowa by 12.5.
Iowa stinks and doesn't deserve to be favored by 12.5. Tennessee State isn't very good either, but it doesn't get blown out often.
College Basketball Pick: Iowa 63, Tennessee State 56 Tennessee State +12.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 (1-0, +$200)
Canisius (8-8) at Siena (12-4) Line: Siena by 15.5.
Siena is a great team out of the MAAC, but this line is way too inflated when you consider that they were just -8 over 10-6 Niagara. Canisius isn't terrible; in fact, they haven't lost by this margin since around Thanksgiving.
College Basketball Pick: Siena 77, Canisius 67 Canisius +15.5 (2 Units) -- Correct; +$200
Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 (2-1, +$380)
Eastern Washington (5-11) at Montana State (9-6) Line: Montana State by 12.
You know what sucks? When you take a 13-point underdog (Fordham), and they have a 4-point lead in the second half, and they blow the cover. Oh, and then the Knicks at +6 have a 14-point lead and blow that cover. And the Bengals lose because of their drunk kicker and choking quarterback. Argh.
Montana State hasn't blown out too many teams this year, and I think they're favored by too much here.
College Basketball Pick: Montana State 70, Eastern Washington 68 Eastern Washington +12 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300
Manhattan (7-8) at Fairfield (11-4) Line: Fairfield by 10.
Another high spread; Fairfield doesn't blow teams out, and Manhattan usually doesn't lose by much.
Washington State (11-3) at Arizona (7-7) Line: Arizona by 3.
My first game in, and I already had a tough beat. Penn State, laying two, was up 31-16 at the half and somehow blew that gigantic lead. At least New Orleans covered.
These records might make you believe that the inferior team is laying points. Well, that's not true. Washington State beat up on numerous crappy teams early in the year - mostly at home. The Cougars are just 1-2 on the road this season, and that sole victory came against perennial powerhouse Alaska-Anchorage.
Washington State doesn't have a road win since Nov. 25, so I like the underrated Wildcats, who are 5-2 as hosts.
College Basketball Pick: Arizona 74, Washington State 64 Arizona -3 (2 Units) -- Incorrect; -$220
Cal Davis (6-8) at UC-Santa Barbara (6-6) Line: UC-Santa Barbara by 9.5.
Too many points. UC-Santa Barbara has just three wins since Thanksgiving, and they've been by 4, 12 and 5 points. Cal Davis has won two straight and could easily make that three here.
College Basketball Pick: UC-Santa Barbara 72, Cal Davis 68 Cal Davis +9.5 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 (1-1, -$30)
Michigan (7-6) at Penn State (8-6) Line: Penn State by 2.
College hoops is back! I've spent the past two months monitoring these teams, so hopefully I've gathered enough good data to enjoy a seventh-consecutive winning season in this sport.
Traveling during the week is never easy, especially in the Big Ten. Michigan doesn't have a road victory yet this year, so I like Penn State to cover this number.
College Basketball Pick: Penn State 69, Michigan 56 Penn State -2 (3 Units) -- Incorrect; -$330
New Orleans (6-9) at Denver (10-5) Line: Denver by 14.5.
Too many points. Denver's record is inflated because it won big early; however, since Thanksgiving, the Pioneers have just one victory of more than nine points.
College Basketball Pick: Denver 68, New Orleans 62 New Orleans +14.5 (3 Units) -- Correct; +$300