We can never be too prepared, too early. Waiting too long can run the risk of losing better numbers. I’ve put my projected line in.
Mississippi State at Arkansas (Arkansas -3.5/140)
Both teams on losing streaks or at least not headed in great directions. My initial thought is to back Arkansas simply for revenging a 7 point loss earlier. But the game has changed and that’s not enough anymore.They shot 4-20 from deep and I have to think that improves, especially at home. And Mississippi State has just one Conference road win but it was a good one at Florida.This game could be a matchup problem on defense for Arkansas because the Bulldogs have a huge length advantage, and I just can’t trust Arkansas without Isiah Joe. And it’s really hard to bet against a team that shoots 80% FT’s in SEC play and that would be Mississippi State .And the Bulldogs are also the #1 offensive rebounding team in the SEC, which is just magnified by the aforementioned length advantage. So I am inclined to like the visitors here.
Notre Dame at Duke (Duke -13.5/149)
I’d love to find a reason to take two touchdowns, but the Irish have been beaten by 18 or more the last three times they’ve played Duke. However, if there’s a team that might give Duke an issue it’s a team that will slow them down, similar to what Clemson did to them earlier this season. I could be a little concerned about a Duke flat spot after the North Carolina and FSU games, and the Irish DID play FSU in Tallahassee to a one point game, so the precedent is there. But, match-up-wise it’s bad for Notre Dame. They shoot three’s as we know but Duke has the tenth best perimeter defense in the nation and tops in the ACC, and Notre Dame really sucks defensively. I think Duke can name the score if they want to, the question is do they want to, or are they looking ahead to NC State on the road? Notre Dame does have the size to compete, but with Duke’s pace their relatively short bench will be an issue, later if not sooner. So if I was going to take Notre Dame it’d have to be first half, but I lean Duke for the game. Even with a letdown of sorts they’re just that much more talented.
WVU at Baylor (Baylor -6/128)
My first instinct is to take Baylor. WVU has one road in Conference play and that was Oklahoma State, a game you’d expect them to win. I don’t know how they respond after pissing down their leg against Kansas. Having said that, there’s no look ahead for Baylor – they’ve got Oklahoma State on deck, and FWIW THAT game IS a look ahead spot for Baylor with Kansas after that. A little look ahead for ME. They only real upside for WVU’s offense is that they get to the line a ton, but the caveat there is they shoot 62%. But, they do have a deep bench. That line might be inflated after the WVU loss to Kansas, so it might be tough to take Baylor, but I can’t get to WVU regardless. I DO think the best bet here is the under, maybe split 1H/game since there’s always that possibility of late free throws.