1-Unit Play. Take #713 Michigan State (-14) over Rutgers (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
None of the four games that these two have played since Rutgers joined the Big Ten. Michigan State has won by 28, 31, 34 and 20 points. I don’t see any reason why this one wouldn’t be more of the same. After all, the Spartans beat Nebraska by 29 their last time out, they beat Notre Dame by 18 and they rolled North Carolina by 18. Again, I don’t see Rutgers as the team to slow this train down.
3-Unit Play. Take #715 Texas (-6) over VCU (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
I think that this is a good matchup for Texas. Coach Shaka Smart used to coach here and you know his guys are going to want to raise their level of play to get him a win in his return. Also, VCU’s pressing and trapping style isn’t going to bother Texas because they will want to play the same way. Further, Texas is just a lot better team. They have high-end athletes and experience. The Longhorns aren’t ranked. However, they are this close to being undefeated right now with wins over Duke and Gonzaga, both of whom beat Texas in overtime. VCU lost to Michigan (who isn’t good), was blown out by Marquette (who really isn’t good) and they lost handily at home to Virginia. I don’t think that this Rams team is up to the level that we’ve seen the past few years. They still have a nice home court edge. But that won’t be enough here.
2-Unit Play. Take #718 West Virginia (-4) over Virginia (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
This wasn’t a great matchup for Virginia last year when these two played in Charlottesville, and it’s not a great matchup for Virginia this year in Morgantown. And I expect the results – last year West Virginia won by nine points on the road – to be roughly the same. I think that Virginia has been playing a bit over its head. And the closer I look at their results the less impressed I get. I don’t love West Virginia this year. But their full-court style is going to bother the Cavaliers. And UVA’s gritty defensive approach won’t make WVU bat an eye. Add in a rowdy home crowd and I think that Virginia is set up to take their first loss of the season.
3-Unit Play. Take #722 Missouri (-22.5) over Miami, OH (9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
Miami, OH used to be a decent program. But now they are basically like a D-Ii team. These guys lost by 10 to Hartford – one of the worst teams in the country – and they lost by 25 at Austin Peay, who is awful. Add in a 21-point loss at Tulane and I don’t see any reason that Missouri can’t win this one by 40. Cuonzo Martin is the type of guy that prides himself on getting it done on defense. So he’s not going to let his guys take it easy on the Redhawks. Missouri has been off since last Thursday and they will be well rested in this game. I look for them to put it away early.
2-Unit Play. Take #724 Texas Tech (-5) over Nevada (8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
I know I have said that we’re going to keep betting Nevada until they don’t cover a spread, something they haven’t done this season while going 8-0 ATS. However, this situation calls for an exception. First, this is by far the best team that Nevada has faced this season. The Wolfpack have been doing work mainly because they imported some former ACC starters – Caleb and Cody Martin – and those high-end talents have been beating up on mid-majors. But Texas Tech is full of those kinds of guys. The Red Raiders are also playing at home here and their home crowd should be up for a game against a Top 25 opponent. Also, the majority of the bets in this game are on Nevada and the line has actually moved the other way. That’s kind of a red flag. This game is going to be close. But I think Nevada will take their first loss here.
3-Unit Play. Take #727 Texas A&M (-1.5) over Arizona (9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
The Wildcats still have some issues to figure out. Particularly on the defensive end. And I don’t think that they are there yet. Arizona has lost three of its last five games and they needed overtime to get their last win against UNLV. Texas A&M is a completely different beast. For my money this is the best team in the SEC and one of the best teams in the country. They have already gone on the road and laid waste to West Virginia (by 23) and USC (by 16) and no one has stayed within 11 points of this team yet this year. A&M is rock solid inside and out and they have the size and the high-end talent to handle anything Arizona can throw at them. I will back the better team in this one.
2-Unit Play. Take #731 Minnesota (-8) over Nebraska (9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
I still have no problem backing the Golden Gophers. Yes, they came up small against Miami last week. But that was after they came through in a big way against Alabama in the game prior. I still think that Minnesota and Michigan State are both on a whole other level in the feeble Big Ten. And I don’t think the Huskers are going to slow them down. Nebraska is just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 overall while Minnesota is 6-2 ATS in their last eight. The Gophers won the last meeting by 18 and I think they can do the same thing here, especially after watching Nebraska getting pasted by 29 points at Michigan State.
6-Unit Play. Take #734 TCU (-3.5) over SMU (9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
I think that this is a great spot for the home team. It’s a good matchup for TCU, which has the size to take advantage of SMU’s small lineup. And the Horned Frogs are catching the Mustangs at the right time, taking them on right after SMU’s best win of the season (over USC) in their last game. SMU won that game by 17, but they needed a big second half run to overcome a halftime deficit so it’s not as if that one was a blowout. Further, TCU lost by 15 in this rivalry game last year and lost by five in 2015. They are going to want to snap a five-game losing streak to their Dallas rivals and I think they are in position to do so. SMU only has 32 of the 74 points from last year’s win back, whereas TCU has 51 of their 59 points back. SMU only has one guy taller than 6-7 on the roster and TCU has a rock solid frontcourt stocked with four guys at least that big, led by center Vladimir Brodziansky. I think that home court, revenge, SMU’s letdown spot, and TCU’s matchup advantage all line up for a strong showing from the home team. I have the Horned Frogs winning this one by 7-9 points.
2-Unit Play. Take #738 Villanova (-5) over Gonzaga (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
There is never a bad reason to bet on Villanova. And this is the type of game where Gonzaga is really going to miss all the talent and experience that they lost off last year’s team. I don’t see any way in which this game is a blowout. But I also don’t think that Gonzaga’s guards are anywhere near as good as Villanova’s. And the Wildcats’ overall athleticism will neutralize any size edge that the Bulldogs may have. Add in the fact that Nova is playing closer to home here and should have the crowd to their back and this one looks like another vintage Villanova victory and cover.
1-Unit Play. Take #746 Marshall (-8) over Chattanooga (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
2-Unit Play. Take #748 Central Michigan (-2.5) over Montana State (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
I like Montana State. We’ve used them several times and will use them often this year. But I think they are going to struggle in the second game of this little Midwestern swing here. They earned a win over Milwaukee, which is great for them. But Central Michigan has been known to go bonkers at home. The Chips are – shockingly – playing some defense this year. And they’ve been really good on that end on their home court, holding opponents below 40 percent from the field. Granted, Keno Davis’ squad has played two D-II teams! But they have a neutral site win over Cal-Bakersfield, a pretty good mid-major, and I think that the Chips are going to get this one by double-digits and this could be the play tonight that I regret not making a larger wager.
1-Unit Play. Take #764 UNLV (-19) over Oral Robert (10 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #764 UNLV (-14) over Oral Robert (10 p.m.) AND Take #715 Texas (-6) over VCU (7 p.m.)
1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #731 Minnesota (-3) over Nebraska (9 p.m.) AND Take #766 Georgia (-6.5) over Winthrop (7 p.m.)
1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #731 Minnesota (-3) over Nebraska (9 p.m.) AND Take #746 Marshall (-3) over Chattanooga (7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
5 Unit Play. Take #63 Under 5.5 -120 Buffalo at Colorado (9:05p.m., Tuesday December 5)
Tonight in the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado the Avalanche will be looking for a much needed win. Both teams are in desperate needs for a win and with desperation on the line I see a close defensive game being played at the Pepsi Center. Both teams are trending UNDER games as of late and Colorado at home their last 5 home games 4 of them have gone UNDER. Buffalo comes to Denver treading UNDER games and the Sabres last 5 games 4 have gone UNDER with one push. Colorado will have Semyon Varlamov (8-5-1, 3.09 GAA, .905 SVPCT) in the net and Varlamov and the Avs will be looking for redemption since the Avs gave up 7 goals in their last home game. Robin Lehner is projected to be the goalie tonight for the Sabres and his last 3 starts the Sabres have lost but the Sabres have not scored a goal in any of those 3 losses. Tonight I see Colorado getting a much-needed win but overall I see this game staying UNDER the total and we continue to dominate NHL totals. Buffalo is 0-4-2 O/U against Central division teams and the Avalanche are 1-4 O/U last 5 home games
2-Unit Play. Take #703 Utah (+7) over Oklahoma City (8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5)
Yes, we know that the Jazz aren’t the best road team, but the Thunder are way too inconsistent to be laying this type of number to a good team. Will the Thunder pull this game out? We think so, but they won’t cover the seven points. The Jazz are playing good basketball and they are really starting to gel. Utah is also hoping to get Rudy Gobert back tonight which will provide them with a huge boost. Even if Gobert doesn’t play, or play much the Jazz have enough firepower to keep this game closer than this line suggests. Utah is 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last six games versus the Northwest Division. OKC on the other hand is 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall and 0-7 ATS in their last seven versus the Northwest Division.
3 Unit Play. Take #703 Over 197 Utah at Oklahoma City (8:05p.m., Tuesday December 5)
Last night we had the Utah Jazz over the Washington Wizards and easily cashed that ticket as the Jazz won 116-69 and tonight we look for another solid offensive game from the Jazz. The Utah Jazz have scored over 100 points in 6-straight games (averaging 115.5ppg) and the way the Thunder have played defense this year I see the Jazz having no trouble scoring. OKC has won back-to-back home games and tonight I see a fast pace game and with this total being a bit low I see this game flying over. Utah is 5-1 O/U last 6 road games and the Thunder are 5-1 O/U when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their last game.