Going into a solid slate of NCAA hoops on this fine Wednesday, I am 25-16 (61.0%) in the last ten days and 18-11 (62.1%) in the last seven. It seems bets are falling in the right direction after a tough January. Regardless, the futures bets are looking solid at the moment.
Michigan is in line to win the Big Ten this year. West Virginia has a road to the finals with the right bracket. Illinois, even with a tough loss last night against Michigan State, looks like a top-five team. Alabama is in line for a two-seed, and Boise State, Richmond, and Stanford are all on the bubble. The latter two would probably be in better shape if not for multiple COVID-19 pauses for the Spiders or a litany of injuries for The Cardinal. With a strong finish, though, all of these should be in play in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout; I may post a breakdown of additional futures going into the NCAA Tournament. For now, here is a thread on these:
For tonight, there is an intriguing slate of games, so let's get to it.
Wake Forest vs. Clemson (-3.5)
This game opened at -4.5 for the Clemson Tigers. KenPom rates this game at -6 and I have it right around -5. Wake Forest lacks depth. They played close with Florida State and Virginia, but one of their best players in Tariq Ingraham has been out since late December. They only have three victories since. This should not change tonight when they go up against the 12th best defense in the country. Clemson forces turnovers and Wake turns the ball over at the 254th worst rate in college hoops (20.5%). This will be the story of the game because if Wake is in line with many of their other games, they will turn the ball over about 14 times. Their only saving grace is the Tigers are just about as bad of a rebounding team as the Demon Deacons. Take the Tigers because they could be covering this number easily in the first half.
Pick: Clemson -3.5
Indiana/Rutgers - Total 133
Nothing like a Big Ten under, am I right? Well, here comes the 220th adjusted tempo against the 292nd. Rutgers has possibly one of the most inconsistent offenses in the Big Ten. They shoot 31.7% from three and average 68 PPG in Big Ten play. In their last five contests, they are only scoring around 65 PPG. Indiana, on the other hand, has the capability to put up points, but they average 18.0 seconds per possession. Myles Johnson can guard the Hoosiers' most prolific scorer in Trayce Jackson-Davis, too. Since these two have met before, look for a battle at the RAC in New Jersey.
Pick: Under 133
Miami (FL) vs. Florida State (-11.5)
Chris Lykes, Harlond Beverly, and Earl Timberlake are all sidelined indefinitely, so this does not bode well for the 'Canes. They already struggle to crash the glass and they take on one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. Florida State's size may be the tipping point. Pair this with a team that shoots 39.4% from behind the arc and they may cause significant turmoil. On the contrary, Miami shoots under 30% from downtown on the season, and their recent loss to Georgia Tech told the story. The Yellow Jackets owned the rebounding margin and shot 42.3% from three en route to winning the game by 27. Expect similar results in tonight's matchup.
Pick: Florida State -11.5
Arkansas (-2) vs. Alabama
Alabama as a dog? Sign me up. The Crimson Tide had a close call against Vanderbilt the other night. Great. This is a perfect spot for them to cover their away line. Arkansas is a solid team that likes to push the pace, but Alabama does the same. Alabama shoots 36% from three, but their 14.1 seconds per possession are a look Arkansas has not seen yet besides their previous matchup, when 'Bama won by 21 points. Sure, Arkansas shot 33% that day, but this is more of a testament to Alabama's defense. Moses Moody will shoot, but Alabama has multiple guards who can defend his speed. Will Alabama replicate a 20-plus point victory over a team as strong as Arkansas? Maybe not, but they should win this game outright.
Pick: Alabama +2
There you have it, folks. The hit percentage on the season sits at 47.1%, so let's keep improving on those numbers. As always, follow me @cwsdjt on Twitter where I give out picks daily!