What better way to welcome myself to the blog than with some Wednesday night wagers? Despite the unexplainable volatility we frequently see in the last minute of these games; most likely leading to the demise of my health thanks to fouls and free throws, it still is arguably my favorite sport to bet. The NCAA (frauds) has blessed us with a nice little slate tonight. Let’s get straight to it:
Alabama +5 @ LSU
This Tide team is fun to watch and has shown some nice improvement recently. They like to push the pace and jack up 3’s at a rate of 29 per game, which currently sits at 7th in the nation. Let’s pair this with the fact that LSU doesn’t exactly have a lock down defense and are, in my opinion, one of the luckiest, most overrated teams in the country. “But they’re 6-0 in the SEC and ranked 22nd in the nation” – Everyone and their mother probably. Let me enlighten you. LSU has won their past 6 games by a COMBINED 15 points. I think we see the luck run out and some reversion to the mean tonight. Give me Bama with the points and let’s sprinkle a little bit on the moneyline as well.
Iowa State +4.5 vs. Baylor
Let me preface this with the fact that I think this Baylor team is very good. National Championship good. I’m still upset that I didn’t grab any of the Bears’ pre-season futures at crazy odds. However, with the way this roller coaster college hoops season has been going, you could say that about a number of teams. So why am I on the Cyclones tonight? Simple. This is a great spot for them. You’ll find very quickly that I am a big “spot” bettor, especially in this sport where we’re dealing with 18 year old kids who are as emotional as can be and probably spent their day browsing Tik-Tok. Not to mention, you could argue that Hilton Coliseum is one of the toughest road venues in college hoops. This place will be rockin tonight with the #1 team in the country coming to town. Never sleep on the importance of home court advantage.
Xavier -1.5 vs. Marquette
How do you beat Marquette? Stop Markus Howard. This guy is a prolific scorer, but the Xavier D has some quick guards who should be able to keep him in check. After an optimistic pre-season, the Musketeers have really struggled lately, losing 4 of 5 in the ever-challenging Big East. Great spot here for them to turn it around before going on the road to take on top-10 Seton Hall. I don’t see who stops the tandem of Naji Marshall and Tyrique Jones down low tonight as they should provide serious matchup problems for the weak front court of Marquette. Bold prediction: Xavier by double digits tonight at home.
St. Peter’s -1 vs. Monmouth
Last but not least, we’ll move from the SEC to the Big 12 to the Big East to the MAAC. The Peacocks (lol) of St. Peter’s are a one point favorite tonight versus the league’s first place Monmouth Hawks. Monmouth is coming off a big road win against perennial powerhouse Iona, who has gone dancing each of the last four years under renowned Head Coach Tim Cluess. Unfortunately, he has been absent all season with undisclosed health issues and the Gaels were also without top scorer E.J. Crawford in the loss. SPU and Monmouth play completely different styles, with the one that the Peacocks play being my main attraction for this matchup. They like to slow the game down and play hard-nosed defense. This should be a game-changer as Iona failed to challenge 3 point shooters leading to a barrage that ultimately did them in. I don’t see Monmouth having anywhere near that success rate tonight from behind the arc nor do I see them finding easy baskets elsewhere. Vegas was on their knees with closed eyes begging for money to pour in on Monmouth and as we often see, it looks like the public took the bait. I’ll be the wise contrarian here and take the young, scrappy, defensive-minded team at home to get a big win.
*If these plays go 0-4, we have no one to blame other than you (the reader of this blog), the refs, the players, etc. However, if they go 4-0, feel free to send me a monetary gift of your choice. Preferably a very large one.