NCAA Hoops Picks
*
2006-2007 Season (as of Feb. 5): 168-143-4 (54.0%), +$2,495
2006-2007 Best Bets (as of Feb. 5): 37-30 (55.2%), +$430
Note: My past/weekly records and links to other months can be found at the bottom of the page.


Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007 (3-2, +$80)



Villanova (19-9) at Connecticut (17-11).
Line: Pick.


As I've mentioned over the past few weeks, Connecticut is still overrated because of its name. Everyone expects the Huskies to bounce back, but they won't; they're garbage. Villanova should be a 4-point favorite. So naturally, I'm taking the Cats to win straight up.

Prediction: Villanova PK.
Correct; +$100




Providence (17-10) at South Florida (12-16).
Line: Providence by 3.


Providence needs a road victory to strengthen its case for an NCAA Tourney bid. What better way to get it than to win at South Florida? The Bulls have lost their last four games by double digits.

Prediction: Providence -3.
Correct; +$100




Vanderbilt (19-9) at South Carolina (14-13).
Line: Vanderbilt by 1.


Vanderbilt had a huge come-from-behind victory against Kentucky, so it'll be emotionally drained for this contest. South Carolina isn't bad as a host.

Prediction: South Carolina +1.
Incorrect; -$110




Georgia (17-10) at Kentucky (19-9).
Line: Kentucky by 6.


Kentucky needs a victory for everyone to get off its back. Both Around the Horn and PTI are talking about Tubby Smith getting fired, so I think his players will step up for him tonight.

Prediction: Kentucky -6.
Correct; +$100




Maryland (22-7) at Duke (22-7).
Line: Duke by 6.


I have a rule. If a coach cries after winning a game, I go against him, no matter what. It also doesn't hurt that Duke has revenge on its mind after losing to Maryland earlier this season.

Prediction: Duke -6.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110



Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 (1-2, -$120)



West Virginia (20-7) at Pittsburgh (24-5).
Line: Pittsburgh by 9.


If you're not aware, this is one of the biggest rivalries in college sports, and it's called the Backyard Brawl. Anything can happen in rivalry games, so getting nine points seems like a gift. The Mountaineers have revenge on their minds after losing to Pitt a few weeks ago, while the Panthers haven't played well lately; they lost to Louisville at home, and squeaked by Washington and Seton Hall.

Prediction: West Virginia +9.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110




Florida (25-4) at Tennessee (20-9).
Line: Florida by 2.


As I said a while ago, hide the women and children because the Gators are angry. The Gators lost thrice prior to Saturday's defeat at LSU, and they squashed all three opponents they played.

Prediction: Florida -2.
Incorrect; -$110




Michigan State (21-8) at Michigan (19-10).
Line: Michigan State by 1.


Michigan State is one of the hottest teams in the country. Or at least that's what it seems like. The Spartans' recent winning streak is a product of playing about a million consecutive home contests. The fact remains that they still can't win on the road, and I have no confidence in their ability to triumph at Ann Arbor. Michigan wins.

Prediction: Michigan +1.
Correct; +$100



Monday, Feb. 26, 2007 (1-0, +$100)



Georgetown (22-5) at Syracuse (20-8).
Line: Georgetown by 3.


Georgetown is coming off a huge victory at Georgetown and has to go into Syracuse, where the Orange Men are rare home underdogs. This is going to be an emotional game for the 'Cuse.

Prediction: Syracuse +3.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100



Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007 (2-0, +$200)



Louisville (20-8) at Connecticut (17-10).
Line: Pick.


This was almost a UHF game. But since it's not, I like Louisville; Connecticut is still overrated because a portion of the public thinks the team is going to eventually wake up. It won't. The Huskies stink.

Prediction: Louisville PK.
Correct; +$100




Wisconsin (26-3) at Ohio State (25-3).
Line: Ohio State by 5.


This is uncharted territory for Ohio State; this young team has never been in a game this important. Expectations will be high, given that they're 5-point favorites. I think the young Buckeyes will choke this contest away to Wisconsin.

Prediction: Wisconsin +5.
Correct; +$100



Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007 (5-6, -$160)



Cincinnati (10-17) at DePaul (16-12).
Line: DePaul by 6 (1st Half).


Cincinnati has lost about a million games in a row, but at least they've played well. This is an early start for DePaul, who may be a bit sloppy as a big favorite in an 11 a.m. contest.

Prediction: Cincinnati +6 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Miami (11-16) at Virginia Tech (19-8).
Line: Virginia Tech by 7 (1st Half).


Another early start where the huge favorite may be a bit sleepy. Virginia Tech could be flat after a huge victory against Boston College.

Prediction: Miami +7 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Tennessee (19-9) at Arkansas (16-11).
Line: Arkansas by 4.


And speaking of flat, Tennessee could be in trouble here. If a big victory against Alabama isn't enough, the Vols have to deal with the fact that they're 1-8 ATS on the road.

Prediction: Arkansas -4.
Incorrect; -$110




N.C. State (14-12) at Florida State (17-11).
Line: Florida State by 8.


I've mentioned this a few times now, but Florida State put way too much stock in its victory at Duke; the team has lost every single contest since then. I like N.C. State getting a lot of points.

Prediction: N.C. State +8.
Best Bet No. 1.
Incorrect; -$110




Mississippi State (16-10) at Georgia (16-10).
Line: Georgia by 2.


As I've stated before, taking small SEC home favorites can be extremely lucrative.

Prediction: Georgia -2.
Correct; +$100




Kent State (18-9) at Ohio (17-10).
Line: Ohio by 2.


If you've bet Ohio at home the past few years, you're probably tanning on some beach in the Carribean, watching girls in bikinis and slowly developing skin cancer. Yeesh.

Prediction: Ohio -2.
Incorrect; -$110




Marquette (22-7) at Notre Dame (21-6).
Line: Notre Dame by 5.


UHF didn't work too well on Thursday, as Clemson stumbled into a 20-point disadvantage in the first half. It should work today, and there are two games where it applies.

Prediction: Notre Dame -5.
Best Bet No. 2.
Correct; +$100




BYU (21-6) at San Diego State (19-8).
Line: San Diego State by 2.


The second UHF game of the day.

Prediction: San Diego State -2.
Best Bet No. 3.
Correct; +$100




Wichita State (17-12) at Creighton (18-10).
Total: 126.


I usually don't bet totals in college basketball, but I like the Under here. Both teams are struggling to score, and the last four meetings between these two squads have gone Under.

Prediction: Under 126.
Correct; +$100




Bowling Green (12-15) at Akron (20-6).
Line: Akron by 10 (1st Half).


Akron is coming off a loss and cannot afford another one until the MAC Championship. I think the Zips will completely demolish Bowling Green.

Prediction: Akron -10 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Siena (18-10) at Marist (22-7).
Line: Marist by 5.


I think Marist is the better team, but this game is for the MAAC regular-season title. I think there will be too much pressure on Marist at home as a marginal favorite.

Prediction: Siena +5.
Incorrect; -$110



Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007 (0-3, -$320)



Fresno State (18-8) at Louisiana Tech (9-17).
Line: Louisiana Tech by 1.


You might be staring at this point spread with a confused look on your face. I don't blame you. Why is a 9-17 team favored over an 18-8 squad? Let me explain. Louisiana Tech is the graveyard for WAC NCAA Tournament berths. That's because it's two time zones away from all the WAC schools (five from Hawaii), and the teams just aren't used to traveling that far on a plane.

Don't believe me? Boise State (15-10) lost here this season. So did 15-12 Hawaii. As did 20-6 New Mexico State. No. 10 Nevada barely escaped with an 8-point victory.

Fresno State is primed to be "upset." The Bulldogs are coming off two huge victories and could be caught looking ahead to their matchup against New Mexico State.

Prediction: Louisiana Tech -1.
Best Bet No. 1.
Incorrect; -$110




Duke (20-7) at Clemson (19-7).
Line: Clemson by 1.


Phew... that was a long write-up. Let's make this one short and simple: UHF. Three letters. I love it.

Prediction: Clemson -1.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$110




Utah State (20-7) at New Mexico State (20-6).
Line: Utah State +150 (1st Half).


This is a big game for both squads, and I feel that there's going to be way too much pressure on the home favorite. New Mexico State could come out jittery, allowing Utah State to build a first-half lead.

Prediction: Utah State +150 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100



Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007 (6-4, +$160)



Ohio (16-10) at Bowling Green (12-14).
Line: Ohio by 2.


Ohio, once 16-7, has dropped three in a row. Does that mean they've gone bad like Connecticut or LSU? Not at all -- they lost to Northern Illinois because they were looking ahead to Akron. They were beaten by NCAA Tournament-bound Akron and New Mexico State, both of which were road games. I think the Bobcats sit on mediocre Bowling Green tonight.

Prediction: Ohio -2.
Correct; +$100




St. John's (15-12) at Louisville (19-8).
Line: Louisville by 7 (1st Half).


Louisville is coming off a monumental, last-second victory at Marquette, and has Connecticut coming up next. My thinking is that the Cardinals won't be focused for the Red Storm, who have won three of their last five.

Prediction: St. John's +7 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Wake Forest (13-13) at Georgia Tech (17-9).
Line: Georgia Tech by 12.


It seems like Wake Forest has begun its annual late run; it has won four of its previous six contests. I like taking the points here, as Georgia Tech is too stupid a team to cover double digits. Seriously, if the Yellow Jackets make it to the NCAA Tournament, they're one and dumb. I mean one and done. I've never seen a team make so many mental mistakes on a nightly basis.

Prediction: Wake Forest +12.
Incorrect; -$110




Nebraska (15-10) at Baylor (12-13).
Line: Baylor by 2.


In case you missed it, Nebraska lost to Kansas, 92-39! How is that even possible? Can you imagine what the players are going through on campus? Anything from the casual person making fun of them, to hate mails from idiotic boosters with no lives. I think the Huskers come out and play for pride here.

Prediction: Nebraska +2.
Incorrect; -$110




Georgia (16-9) at Ole Miss (17-9).
Line: Ole Miss by 3.


I'm not one to play a game because of a trend, but check this one out: Ole Miss is 8-3 ATS at home. Sounds simple, but it goes along with what I've been saying for years now: If you take small SEC home favorites, you'll win 60 percent of your games.

Prediction: Ole Miss -3.
Correct; +$100




Alabama (19-7) at Tennessee (18-9).
Line: Tennessee by 5.


This is a UHF game. Why am I not making this a best bet? Tennessee put so much stock into that Kentucky game that I'm afraid it's going to go in a tailspin the rest of the season, much like Florida State when it beat Duke. However, the Vols could get up for No. 25 Alabama. I'd say I'm 75 percent confident with this selection. Luckily there is another UHF game tonight...

Prediction: Tennessee -5.
Incorrect; -$110




Vanderbilt (18-8) at Mississippi State (15-10).
Line: Mississippi State by 6.


Love this game. Not only is this UHF, Vanderbilt is one of those teams that put too much stock into one game. The Commodores beat the Gators, and that's great, but their season is essentially over. I would shocked if they win another game this year.

Prediction: Mississippi State -6.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100




South Carolina (13-12) at Florida (24-3).
Line: Florida by 10 (1st Half).


South Carolina, hide the women and children because the Gators are coming. Florida is steaming over its loss to Vanderbilt, so expect a blood bath tonight in Gainesville. The Gators have lost thrice this season. After their first two defeats, they beat Southern University, 83-27, and Providence, 85-67.

Prediction: Florida -10 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Michigan (18-9) at Illinois (19-9).
Line: Illinois by 8.


Michigan has lost its previous five road contests by double digits. More proof that it's hard to win on the road in the Big Ten.

Prediction: Illinois -8.
Correct; +$100




Purdue (17-9) at Iowa (15-12).
Line: Iowa by 2.


Like Michigan, I'm not confident in Purdue's ability to win on the road in the Big Ten. This is a shorter number, so Iowa can definitely cover it.

Prediction: Iowa -2.
Correct; +$100



Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007 (2-2-1, -$20)



Wisconsin (26-2) at Michigan State (19-8).
Line: Michigan State +105 (1st Half).


Wisconsin just moved up to No. 1, so I think there could be a possible letdown here, especially considering that the team plays Ohio State on Sunday. Michigan State, a rare home underdog, should be able to jump out to an early lead. I don't know if the Spartans will be victorious, but they should have a lead at halftime.

Prediction: Michigan State +105 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




Oklahoma (15-10) at Missouri (16-9).
Line: Missouri by 3.


This just seems too easy, so I'll probably get it wrong. Oklahoma is 1-6 on the road, and is just a 3-point dog to an up-and-coming Missouri squad? I think the Tigers sit on the Sooners tonight.

Prediction: Missouri -3.
Correct; +$100




DePaul (16-11) at Notre Dame (20-6).
Line: Notre Dame by 6.


DePaul has won four of five, which includes a victory over Notre Dame. I think everyone's assuming that the Fighting Irish will claim revenge. That puts DePaul in a nice situation to cover.

Prediction: DePaul +6.
Incorrect; -$110




West Virginia (20-6) at Providence (16-9).
Line: Providence by 3.


I had West Virginia down as a selection until I remembered... UHF. UHF. UHF.

Prediction: Providence -3.
Best Bet.
Push; -$10




Air Force (23-4) at UNLV (22-6).
Line: UNLV by 2.


For those of you new to this, UHF stands for Unranked Home Favorite. Any time you have an unranked home favorite playing against a ranked visitor, you always take the former. It works 60 to 65 percent of the time.

Prediction: UNLV -2.
Correct; +$100



Monday, Feb. 19, 2007 (1-0, +$100)



Kansas (23-4) at Kansas State (19-8).
Line: Kansas by 5.


One thing I like to do is bet on the visitor in this rivalry. While taking Kansas State in Lawrence usually works 60 percent of the time, going with the Jayhawks in Manhattan is a guarantee; Kansas is 9-0 against the spread at Kansas State since 1997.

Prediction: Kansas -5.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100



Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007 (1-1, -$10)



Georgia Tech (17-8) at Duke (19-7).
Line: Duke by 7.


There's two reasons why this line is so high: Everyone expects Duke to avenge its loss to Georgia Tech, and the Blue Devils are still extremely overvalued because of their name. But I don't think the first meeting was a fluke; the Yellow Jackets are the better team.

Prediction: Georgia Tech +7.
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110




Virginia Tech (18-7) at N.C. State (13-11).
Line: Virginia Tech by 6.


Virginia Tech swept North Carolina this year. After the first victory, the Hokies were flat in a loss to Florida State. I'm expecting a similar performance Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: N.C. State +6.
Correct; +$100



Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007 (11-3, +$770)



Georgetown (19-5) at Villanova (18-7).
Line: Georgetown by 1.


A lot of people are on Villanova, and I'm not sure why; Georgetown will be looking for triple revenge after losing to Villanova thrice. The Hoyas are also the better team. They'll be focused this afternoon. This is not a UHF game.

Prediction: Georgetown -1.
Correct; +$100




Florida State (17-9) at Virginia (17-7).
Line: Virginia by 6.


I'm sticking with my Florida State theory. I think the Seminoles put too much stock into beating Duke, that they completely drained themselves. I'm going against them until they show signs of life.

Prediction: Virginia -6.
Incorrect; -$110




Iowa (15-11) at Michigan State (18-8).
Line: Michigan State by 7.


It's really hard to win road games in the Big Ten. How hard? The last times Iowa visited Sparty, it lost by 30.

Prediction: Michigan State -7.
Correct; +$100




Appalachian State (20-6) at Wichita State (17-10).
Line: Wichita State by 6.


Betting big Bracket Buster underdogs worked yesterday, so let's keep it going. There's going to be too much pressure on Wichita State in front of a national audience.

Prediction: Appalachian State +6.
Correct; +$100




Kentucky (18-7) at Alabama (18-7).
Line: Alabama by 2.


This is almost a UHF game, as Alabama is No. 25 in the polls. But winning on the road in the SEC, much like the Big Ten, is extremely difficult.

Prediction: Alabama -2.
Correct; +$100




Mississippi State (14-10) at LSU (14-11).
Line: LSU by 4.


See above. I'm way too tired and hung over to type that all out again.

Prediction: LSU -4.
Incorrect; -$110




Holy Cross (20-7) at Hofstra (19-8).
Line: Hofstra by 5.


Another situation where there's going to be too much pressure on a home favorite on Bracket Buster Saturday.

Prediction: Holy Cross +5.
Correct; +$100




Connecticut (16-9) at Syracuse (18-8).
Line: Syracuse by 5.


Once again, Connecticut is being overvalued because of its name. The Huskies should be 9- or 10-point underdogs here. Five is just way too short a number.

Prediction: Syracuse -5.
Correct; +$100




Tennessee (18-8) at South Carolina (12-12).
Line: Tennessee by 3.


I like South Carolina here, and not because of the SEC road thing. Tennessee is coming off one of the biggest victories it had in a long time; beating Kentucky meant everything to them. That's great and all, but the Vols won't be focused for the Gamecocks.

Prediction: South Carolina +3.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100




Oregon (20-6) at Stanford (16-8).
Line: Stanford by 3.


Looks like the only UHF game on the board today. I think I'm going to cry.

Prediction: Stanford -3
Best Bet No. 2.
Correct; +$100




Bradley (18-10) at Virginia Commonwealth (22-5).
Line: Virginia Commonwealth by 5.


Another Bracket Buster underdog. If Bradley wins, they're in the tournament.

Prediction: Bradley +5.
Correct; +$100




Drexel (19-7) at Creighton (18-8).
Line: Creighton by 9.


"And another one" -- Biggie Smalls.

Prediction: Drexel +9.
Correct; +$100




Sam Houston State (18-7) at Fresno State (17-8).
Line: Fresno State by 6.


"And a third one" -- Me.

Prediction: Sam Houston State +6.
Best Bet No. 3.
Incorrect; -$110




Ohio (16-9) at New Mexico State (19-6).
Line: New Mexico State by 7.


"And a fourth one." -- Ugh, that was corny. There's just too many games and I don't feel like writing anything semi-creative.

Prediction: Ohio +7.
Correct; +$100



Friday, Feb. 16, 2007 (2-2, -$10)



Winthrop (22-4) at Missouri State (19-8).
Line: Missouri State by 5.


Here's how stupid I am: When I saw that California beat Oregon last night, I was happy because I thought I went 2-0. So, I went to update my site and realized that I picked the Ducks, not the Golden Bears. Doh! Anyway, this is one of those Bracket Buster games, so there's going to be too much pressure on the host, Missouri State, to impress a national audience. Winthrop may not win, but it'll cover.

Prediction: Winthrop +5.
Best Bet.
Winthrop +155 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100
Incorrect; -$100




Albany (18-8) at Boise State (14-10).
Line: Boise State by 9.


I'm taking Albany for the same reason I picked Winthrop. Too much pressure on a big favorite that's not used to playing in front of millions of people.

Prediction: Albany +9.
Correct; +$100




Columbia (13-9) at Penn (15-8).
Line: Penn by 6 (1st Half).


This game means a lot more to Columbia; Penn obliterated them earlier this year, while the Quakers are coming off a huge victory over archrival Princeton. I'm not sure how focused Penn will be in the first half.

Prediction: Columbia +6 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110



Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007 (1-1, -$10)



Oregon (20-5) at California (12-12).
Line: Oregon by 3.


Oregon has dropped three of four, so I think it'll come out and destroy a lifeless California squad.

Prediction: Oregon -3.
Incorrect; -$110




Indiana (17-6) at Purdue (16-9).
Line: Purdue by 2.


UHF. 'Nuff said.

Prediction: Purdue -2.
Correct; +$100



Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007 (3-1, +$190)



Kentucky (18-6) at Tennessee (17-8).
Line: Tennessee by 3.


The unranked-home-favorite system applies here. So does the "it's so damn hard to win on the road in the SEC" mantra.

Prediction: Tennessee -3.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100




Georgia Tech (16-8) at Florida State (17-8).
Line: Florida State by 2.


As I said Sunday, Florida State is an automatic play-against because the team put so much stock into beating Duke at the beginning of the month. The Seminoles got the job done, but at a huge cost.

Prediction: Georgia Tech +2.
Correct; +$100




Southern Illinois (21-5) at Missouri State (19-7).
Line: Missouri State by 5.


This is Missouri State's ticket to the tournament. They'd probably get in regardless, but they can be assured a spot if they knock off No. 16 Southern Illinois.

Prediction: Missouri State -5.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$110




Michigan (17-8) at Michigan State (17-8).
Line: Michigan State by 7.


A lot of rivalries are close -- and then there's this one. Every time Michigan has traveled to East Lansing the past few years, it has gotten blown out by the Spartans. This one won't be any different.

Prediction: Michigan State -7.
Correct; +$100



Monday, Feb. 12, 2007 (2-0, +$200)



Louisville (17-8) at Pittsburgh (22-3).
Line: Pittsburgh by 5 (1st Half).


Big East teams rarely cover big numbers at home, and I think that's what'll happen here. Pittsburgh isn't particularly strong at home, so Louisville should be able to stay within striking distance.

Prediction: Louisville +5 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Oklahoma State (19-5) at Texas (17-7).
Line: Texas by 7.


It seems bizarre that an unranked team is a 7-point favorite over a ranked squad. But going back to the old rule, you have to like Texas.

Prediction: Texas -7.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100



Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007 (3-1, +$190)



Rhode Island (14-10) at Duquesne (10-11).
Line: Duquesne by 2.


My horrendous Saturdays continue. The bad news is that the rest of the week wasn't so hot either. I'm not really sure what happened, but I'll work my hardest to get back on the right track.

Prediction: Duquesne -2.
Incorrect; -$110




Boston College (17-6) at Florida State (17-7).
Line: Florida State by 5.


Remember Florida State's monumental victory at Duke? That was the type of win that can ruin a team's season. The Seminoles put so much stock into that game that they have no more energy left for these other contests. They're a go-against until they regain their stamina.

Prediction: Boston College +5.
Correct; +$100




Duke (18-6) at Maryland (17-7).
Line: Maryland by 1.


Any team that plays Duke always brings its A-game. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they're not as experienced or talented as they've been in years past. Maryland gets the win here.

Prediction: Maryland -1.
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100




Marist (18-7) at Iona (1-23).
Line: Marist by 6.


Now that Iona has won a game, they're done. No more victories for them. Didn't this team make the NCAA Tournament last year?

Prediction: Marist -6.
Correct; +$100



Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007 (5-8, -$360)



Marquette (21-4) at Georgetown (17-5).
Line: Georgetown by 7.


Not only do Big East teams usually fail to cover large spreads at home, but I think Marquette is the better squad; I love getting 7 points with one of the top teams in the country.

Prediction: Marquette +7.
Incorrect; -$110




Arkansas (15-8) at LSU (13-10).
Line: LSU by 3.


Once upon a time, LSU was 13-4 and considered one of the top squads in the nation. So much for that. But I think the Tigers will snap their six-game losing streak; Arkansas hasn't enjoyed much success on the road, losing at South Carolina and Ole Miss.

Prediction: LSU -3.
Correct; +$100




Illinois (18-8) at Indiana (16-6).
Line: Indiana by 8.


I was disappointed with my selection when Illinois beat Northwestern, but that was the team's second victory on the road this year. I don't see a third coming on Saturday. In fact, this could be a blowout.

Prediction: Indiana -8.
Incorrect; -$110




Vanderbilt (16-7) at Tennessee (16-8).
Line: Tennessee by 4.


Unranked home favorite. You know the drill.

Prediction: Tennessee -4.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100




Alabama (18-5) at Ole Miss (15-8).
Line: Ole Miss by 5.


Alabama may be 18-5, but it can't even beat Arkansas at home, and it nearly lost to lowly Mississippi State as a host. Ole Miss should be able to take care of business here.

Prediction: Ole Miss -5.
Best Bet No. 2.
Correct; +$100




Butler (23-2) at Wright State (18-8).
Line: Butler by 2 (1st Half).


Butler's essentially in the tournament. Wright State can get in with a victory here. I don't think it'll happen, but the Raiders could be ahead at halftime.

Prediction: Wright State +2 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Georiga (13-9) at South Carolina (12-10).
Line: Georgia by 2.


It's tough to win on the road in the SEC, so taking a home underdog in conference play sounds promising.

Prediction: South Carolina +2.
Incorrect; -$110




Florida (22-2) at Kentucky (18-5).
Line: Florida by 3.


Remember when Kentucky used to dominate Florida? I used to call the latter the "Cottonelle Gators" for always folding against the Wildcats. Ahhh, the good old days.

Prediction: Florida -3.
Best Bet No. 3.
Push; -$10




Tennessee State (10-15) at Tennessee Tech (14-11).
Line: Tennessee Tech by 5 (1st Half).


It's no surprise that the home team has trailed a lead at halftime in the previous three meetings. In a rivalry as intense as this one, there's always tons of pressure on the host.

Prediction: Tennessee State +5 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Penn State (10-12) at Northwestern (11-12).
Line: Penn State +135 (1st Half).


Both of these teams are garbage, so there's a good chance Penn State will be leading at halftime. I'll take +135.

Prediction: Penn State +135 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




Virginia (16-6) at Virginia Tech (16-7).
Line: Virginia +130 (1st Half).


Whoever wins this game will probably have an automatic bid into the tournament. Virginia is the superior team, and we're getting positive juice with them. Let's go Cavs.

Prediction: Virginia +130 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




California (12-11) at Washington State (20-4).
Line: Washington State by 6 (1st Half).


I took California on Thursday because it needed a victory much more than its opponent. That's the case again, as the Cougars could be looking forward to their matchup against Washington.

Prediction: California +6 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Minnesota (9-15) at Michigan (16-8).
Line: Michigan by 6 (1st Half).


The Wolverines have dropped four in a row, so this is a good chance to take them in the first half; they should be able to jump out to an early lead against woeful Minnesota.

Prediction: Michigan -6 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Idaho State (12-12) at Northern Arizona (11-11).
Line: Idaho State +165 (1st Half).


All of these teams in the Big Sky -- exlcuding Northern Colorado and Sacramento State -- are basically the same. That's why the +165 is appealing.

Prediction: Idaho State +165 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100



Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007 (1-2, -$110)



Drake (12-12) at Northern Iowa (16-8).
Line: Northern Iowa by 4 (1st Half).


If Chris Berman covered college basketball, he'd say, "C'mon, Northern Iowa! Let's gooooo!" The Panthers, once a lock to get into the tournament, have dropped four of five, including one to Drake. They need to win -- and it'll show in the first half.

Prediction: Northern Iowa -4 (1st Half).
Best Bet.
Incorrect; -$110




California (12-10) at Washington (14-8).
Line: Washington by 4 (1st Half).


California is in the same position Northern Iowa is in. The Golden Bears were 12-6 prior to their four-game losing streak. They need this a lot more than Washington.

Prediction: California +4 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Rhode Island (14-9) at UMass (16-6).
Line: Rhode Island +265 (1st Half).


Rhode Island's as hot as any team in the Atlantic-10 right now, so I don't see why they wouldn't be leading at halftime. We're getting a great bargain here.

Prediction: Rhode Island +265 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100



Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007 (6-6, -$50)



Georgetown (16-5) at Louisville (16-7).
Line: Louisville by 1.


One of my favorite angles in college basketball is betting on unranked home favorites who are playing ranked visitors. While Louisville seems like the inferior team, it should win tonight, according to the system.

Prediction: Louisville -1.
Best Bet No. 1.
Incorrect; -$110




Illinois (17-8) at Northwestern (11-11).
Line: Illinois by 4.


It's extremely difficult to win on the road in the Big Ten, which is why Illinois is 1-4 in visiting contests this year. The Illini may be caught looking ahead to their matchup with Indiana on Saturday.

Prediction: Northwestern +4.
Incorrect; -$110




Florida State (17-6) at Clemson (18-5).
Line: Clemson by 2 (1st Half).


Clemson needs to stop the bleeding after losing three consecutive games. Florida State, meanwhile, is still partying from its monumental victory at Duke. I think the Tigers will establish a nice lead by halftime.

Prediction: Clemson -2 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Florida (21-2) at Georgia (13-8).
Line: Florida by 6.


This is an uncharacteristic pick for me because I rarely select big road favorites. However, Florida is clearly the best team in the country, and is taking no prisoners as it's demolishing everyone in its path. The Gators always win big at Georgia.

Prediction: Florida -6.
Correct; +$100




Evansville (12-12) at Creighton (16-7).
Line: Creighton by 7 (1st Half).


Creighton could be caught looking ahead here, as it battles Southern Illinois next. Evansville, which has played extremely well of late in three tough losses, should be able to keep this close for a while.

Prediction: Evansville +7 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Mississippi State (12-9) at Alabama (17-5).
Line: Alabama by 3.


Like the Big Ten, the SEC offers too much of a challenge for visiting teams. Mississippi State is 1-6 on the road.

Prediction: Alabama -3.
Best Bet No. 2
Incorrect; -$110




Iowa (13-10) at Minnesota (9-14).
Line: Iowa by 3.


This seems like the Illinois-Northwestern and the Mississippi State-Alabama games had a baby. It takes the Big Ten road aspect and combines it with a 1-6 visiting team. Yeah, that makes no sense, sorry.

Prediction: Minnesota +3.
Incorrect; -$110




Michigan State (17-7) at Purdue (15-8).
Line: Purdue by 2.


See above, only replacing 1-6 with 1-5. Too lazy to type.

Prediction: Purdue -2.
Best Bet No. 3.
Correct; +$100




Bradley (16-9) at Southern Illinois (19-5).
Line: Bradley +225 (1st Half).


I think there's a great chance Bradley leads at halftime. Forget that these are two evenly matched squads; the underdog has maintained a halftime advantage the previous two meetings.

Prediction: Bradley +225 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




North Carolina (20-3) at Duke (18-5).
Line: North Carolina by 4.


There's no doubt in my mind that North Carolina will win and cover this game. This version of Duke isn't quite the same as it was under J.J. Redick, Chris Duhon and Shane Battier. They're just not that good. This could be a blowout.

Prediction: North Carolina -4.
Correct; +$100




Kansas State (17-6) at Kansas (19-4).
Line: Kansas by 10.


Could we maybe spread these rivalry games out so we could, you know, watch them all at once? A great angle in this rivalry is that you always take the road team. Always. Rarely fails.

Prediction: Kansas State +10.
Best Bet No. 4.
Incorrect; -$110




Oklahoma State (18-4) at Oklahoma (13-8).
Line: Oklahoma by 5.


This also fits under the unranked-home-favorite category. If this line were three, I'd make it a best bet.

Prediction: Oklahoma -5.
Correct; +$100



Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007 (1-2, -$120)



N.C. State (13-8) at Georgia Tech (14-8).
Line: Georgia Tech by 6 (1st Half).


This is a tough spot for the Yellow Jackets, who are coming off a victory against Clemson, and will be looking forward to playing Connecticut. N.C. State, meanwhile, has just beaten North Carolina and Virginia Tech (on the road).

Prediction: N.C. State +6 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




St. Joseph's (13-9) at Villanova (15-7).
Line: Villanova by 6 (1st Half).


It should be no surprise that the underdog has held a halftime lead in the previous two matchups. That's because this is such an intense rivalry that the weaker team is almost willing to do anything to win. You'll see that tonight.

Prediction: St. Joseph's +6 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




LSU (13-9) at Tennessee (15-8).
Line: Tennessee by 6.


Wow, LSU has really fallen off the face of the college-football map. Once considered a favorite to return to the Final Four, the Tigers have lost five in a row, and are now on the bubble. Because it's so difficult to win SEC road games, let's make that streak six, as Tennessee rolls to an easy victory.

Prediction: Tennessee -6.
Incorrect; -$110



Monday, Feb. 5, 2007 (2-2, +$80)



Syracuse (15-7) at Connecticut (13-8).
Line: Connecticut by 4.


I'm done betting on Connecticut. I know they've lost like five million games in a row, but that's because they suck. Jim Calhoun clearly has done a poor job recruiting lately. Syracuse is the better team.

Prediction: Syracuse +4.
Incorrect; -$110




Appalachian State (17-5) at Georgia Southern (10-11).
Line: Appalachian State by 2 (1st Half).


Appalachian State, the best team in the SoCon this year, inexplicably lost to Furman a few days ago. I expect them to rebound against Georgia Southern.

Prediction: Appalachian State -2 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




San Diego (13-10) at Saint Mary's (13-11).
Line: San Diego +190 (1st Half).


Two reasons why San Diego has a solid chance of leading at halftime: They have revenge on their side, and they had an advantage at intermission the last two times they visited Saint Mary's.

Prediction: San Diego +190 (1st Half).
Correct; +$190




San Francisco (9-14) at Santa Clara (16-7).
Line: San Francisco +200 (1st Half).


Santa Clara is coming off a victory at Saint Mary's, so it could be a little flat in this spot. San Francisco, winners of its previous two road contests, has led at halftime the last two times it visited Santa Clara.

Prediction: San Francisco +200 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100



Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007 (0-2, -$210)



Dayton (14-7) at St. Joseph's (12-9).
Line: Dayton +200 (1st Half).


What's up with my Saturday picks being so horrendous? I may just stop making Saturday picks all together. Like I said before, if you take away my Saturday picks, no one is out-handicapping me right now. And by the way, my NBA picks are back.

I think there's great value with Dayton here; the Flyers are the better team, so why can't they lead at the half?

Prediction: Dayton +200 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




LaSalle (9-13) at Temple (8-12).
Line: Temple by 4 (1st Half).


This is a heated rivalry where both teams are about equal, so it's pretty formulaic to take the underdog in the first half.

Prediction: LaSalle +4 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110



Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007 (8-10-2, -$245)



Rutgers (9-13) at Connecticut (13-8).
Line: Connecticut by 9 (1st Half).


This is getting ridiculous. I don't think Connecticut has lost so many consecutive games in decades. They have to win this game. They'll be completely focused for a bad Rutgers squad.

Prediction: Connecticut -9 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Rhode Island (13-9) at Fordham (13-7).
Line: Rhode Island +145 (1st Half).


Rhode Island led at halftime the last two times they visited Fordham. That could happen a third time, given that these two squads are equal. A clip of +145 is a solid price.

Prediction: Rhode Island +145 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




Purdue (14-8) at Penn State (10-10).
Line: Penn State +100 (1st Half).


It's been a really disappointing season for Penn State, who was expected to make a run for the NCAA Tournament this year. But I think the Nitts pull it out today; Purdue is absolutely horrendous on the road.

Prediction: Penn State +100 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




West Virginia (17-4) at Seton Hall (12-9).
Line: West Virginia by 2 (1st Half).


I'm not even going to mention that West Virginia is very mediocre (2-3) on the road, while Seton Hall is 10-2 as a host. The Mountaineers are just a few days away from the Back-Yard Brawl against Pitt. They might look past Seton Hall.

Prediction: Seton Hall +2 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Clemson (18-4) at Georgia Tech (13-8).
Line: Georgia Tech by 2.


Remember when Georgia Tech shocked the nation by beating Duke? Well, they're 1-4 since that victory, beating only Florida State by eight. Talk about putting all of your eggs in one basket. Doesn't that remind you of the 2005 Chargers, whose season was ruined by a victory at Indianapolis? Nevertheless, I like them in this spot because of that unranked-home-favorite rule.

Prediction: Georgia Tech -2.
Correct; +$100




Virginia Tech (16-6) at Boston College (15-6).
Line: Boston College by 2.


Yet another instance where the unranked-home-favorite system applies. I think taking the Eagles is a slam dunk; it's so hard to win up at Boston College.

Prediction: Boston College -2.
Best Bet No. 1.
Correct; +$100




Washington (14-7) at Arizona (14-7).
Line: Washington +235 (1st Half).


I have no idea why this number is so high. These teams are about even, and the road team usually success in this series.

Prediction: Washington +235 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




Louisville (16-6) at Villanova (14-7).
Line: Louisville +150 (1st Half).


Let's see... the better team with more experience and double revenge on its mind is getting +150 at halftime. Yeah, makes a lot of sense to me not.

Prediction: Louisville +150 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100




Ole Miss (14-8) at Auburn (14-9).
Line: Auburn by 2.


One of my favorite angles is taking SEC home teams; winning road games in that conference is simply an impossible task for mediocre squads. That's why Ole Miss is 2-7 out of its arena.

Prediction: Auburn -2.
Best Bet No. 2.
Incorrect; -$110




Indiana (16-5) at Iowa (12-10).
Line: Indiana by 2.


Whatever I just said about the SEC applies to the Big Ten. Iowa's a pretty good team; they just won at Michigan.

Prediction: Iowa +2.
Correct; +$100




Southern Illinois (18-5) at Wichita State (15-8).
Line: Southern Illinois +125 (1st Half).


I think it's a 50-50 coin flip as to which teams leads at halftime in this contest. So, we're getting a good price here, considering the circumstances.

Prediction: Southern Illinois +125 (1st Half).
Correct; +$125




Charlotte (9-11) at Xavier (15-7).
Line: Xavier by 7 (1st Half).


Xavier put its NCAA Tournament chances in jeopardy when it lost to Duquesne on Wednesday. They need to rebound here -- and they will against the 49ers, who are 1-7 on the road.

Prediction: Xavier -7 (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




Oregon (19-3) at USC (17-6).
Line: USC by 3.


Game No. 3 that fits under the unranked-home-favorite system. Let's hope we go at least 2-1 with these picks.

Prediction: USC -3.
Push; -$10




LSU (13-8) at Mississippi State (11-9).
Line: Mississippi State by 4.


This line is a bit higher than what it should be, but I think the oddsmakers are factoring in my average-SEC-teams-are-garbage-on-the-road policy. Never fails. Well, almost never.

Prediction: Mississippi State -4.
Correct; +$100




Oregon State (9-14) at UCLA (19-2).
Line: UCLA by 11 (1st Half).


This game reminds me a lot of the Oregon State-USC contest I covered on Thursday. UCLA, coming off a huge victory against Oregon, could be looking forward to its tilt against USC in a few days. The Beavers, meanwhile, were blown out in the first meeting. They'll be out for revenge. Should be close at halftime.

Prediction: Oregon State +11 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Georgia (13-7) at Vanderbilt (15-7).
Line: Vanderbilt by 5.


I'm going with another SEC home team, as Vanderbilt will look to rebound off its loss to Florida. Besides, the Commodores will be looking to avenge an earlier loss to Georgia.

Prediction: Vanderbilt -5.
Push; -$10




Bradley (15-9) at Illinois State (12-11).
Line: Pick (1st Half).


Bradley is currently on a two-game losing streak, which might have put it's at-large bid in jeopardy. The bottom line is that they need to start winning now. I expect a sense of urgency from the Braves, and consequently, a first-half lead.

Prediction: Bradley PK (1st Half).
Correct; +$100




San Jose State (3-18) at Utah State (15-7).
Line: Utah State by 6 (1st Half).


Like Bradley, Utah State has dropped two in a row, so all of its players will be looking to seek and destroy in the first half. San Jose State won't put up much of a fight.

Prediction: Utah State -6 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$110




Austin Peay (14-7) at Tennessee State (10-13).
Line: Austin Peay by 2.


Austin Peay has quietly established itself as one of the better mid-majors in the country. However, they're coming off a loss to Murray State, so I expect them to rebound at Tennessee State.

Prediction: Austin Peay -2.
Correct; +$100




Sacramento State (8-14) at Idaho State (10-12).
Line: Sacramento State +300 (1st Half).


Why is this number so high? Both of these teams suck.

Prediction: Sacramento State +300 (1st Half).
Incorrect; -$100



Friday, Feb. 2, 2007 (1-0, +$100)



Manhattan (11-10) at Niagara (11-11).
Line: Niagara by 3 (1st Half).


This is a huge game for Niagara; beating Manhattan would mean the world to them. Luckily, they're catching Manhattan in a bad situation, as the Jaspers just had a very signficiant victory over Marist. The Purple Eagles should be able to establish a respectable first-half lead.

Prediction: Niagara -3 (1st Half).
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100



Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007 (3-1, +$360)



Hawaii (12-9) at Fresno State (15-6).
Line: Fresno State by 5.


Forget that Hawaii is 0-6, 1-5 against the spread on the mainland, and the fact that they're playing a superior team for a second. Actually, that's all I got for ya. My bad.

Prediction: Fresno State -5.
Incorrect; -$110




Oregon State (9-13) at USC (16-6).
Line: USC by 8 (1st Half).


The last time these two teams played, Oregon State was completely embarrassed, losing 91-46. I think the Beavers will be playing for pride here. USC, meanwhile, has a huge matchup against Oregon to look forward to.

Prediction: Oregon State +8 (1st Half).
Best Bet.
Correct; +$100




Tennessee State (10-12) at Samford (12-10).
Line: Tennessee State +190 (1st Half).


These squads are about equal, so Tennessee State has a solid shot at having a half-time lead.

Prediction: Tennessee State +190 (1st Half).
Correct; +$190




Portland State (14-9) at Montana (11-10).
Line: Portland State +180 (1st Half).


Whoever made Montana a 6-point favorite is on crack -- or a helluva lot smarter than I am. Nevertheless, Portland State should have a lead at halftime.

Prediction: Portland State +180 (1st Half).
Correct; +$180


*
Season:
2013-14: 2013-14 -
2012-13: 2012-13 -
2011-12: 2011-12 -
2010-11: 2010-11 -
2009-10: 2009-10 -
2008-09: 2008-09 -
2007-2008: December - January - February - March -
2006-2007: November - December - January - February - March - April -


2003-2004 Season: 138-107-6 (56.3%)
2004-2005 Season: 168-148-6 (53.2%)
2005-2006 Season: 188-173-7 (52.1%)
2006-2007 Season: 273-255-8 (51.7%), +$945
2007-2008 Season: 71-64-5 (52.6%), +$1,420
2008-2009 Season: 66-53-2 (55.5%), +$1,680

Career Against The Spread: 906-780-32 (53.7%), +$4,045


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