College basketball schedule today has 62 games
Sixty-two games are on the betting card as we inch another day closer to Super Bowl LVII. This has been a little bit of a weird week in that I haven’t been able to find many CBB plays I like. The matchups just haven’t fit and there has been some bad luck on the ones that have. St. John’s went the last 3:50 without a point in the loss to Butler two nights ago. DePaul scored two points in the final 4:03 against Villanova to turn a seven-point deficit into a 16-point loss.
College basketball is notorious for these frustrating and maddening losses, but you can’t dwell on them. You have to just shake them off and look at the card for the next day, so that’s what we’ll do.
Jonathan Von Tobel wrote up the Kevin Durant to the Suns trade this morning, along with today’s NBA best bets. Andy MacNeil is your guy for daily NHL picks. Check out the NBA cross-sport props and NHL cross-sport props for Super Bowl LVII as well.
Here are some thoughts on the February 9 card (odds from DraftKings):
Old Dominion heads to Atlanta as a short favorite in a game that has swung towards the Monarchs after predominantly opening a pick ‘em across the market. ODU fits the mold of the teams that I’ve been backing this season and I feel like this is a solid matchup for head coach Jeff Jones and his squad.
Georgia State’s shot share against on Close Twos is 40%, which ranks 308th in the nation. Old Dominion’s shot share against on Close Twos is 29.4%, good for 23rd in the country. While Georgia State’s shot share is a bit higher on offense, the defensive profile for Old Dominion should keep Georgia State away from the rim and keep them out on the perimeter, which is something Georgia State does not want.
The Panthers are shooting just 29.5% on 3s this season, which is problematic against an Old Dominion bunch forcing opponents into a 3 on 43.5% of shot attempts. Given that this projects to be a fairly slow-paced game, Old Dominion forcing Georgia State into 3s really lowers what the Panthers can expect to do. Furthermore, Georgia State ranks 301st in the nation with a 20.4% TO% on offense, so they may throw some possessions away, along with missing the 3s that they don’t really want to shoot.
Old Dominion won the first meeting in Norfolk by 12, going 15-of-18 at the rim, while Georgia State was 8-of-19. It was also an outlier in that Old Dominion had 18 turnovers to 15 for Georgia State and the Panthers had 14 offensive rebounds to just six for the Monarchs, who have a higher offensive rebounding percentage this season. I’d expect the Monarchs to come away with the road victory here.
Pick: Old Dominion -1
BYU draws the worst team in the West Coast Conference with a chance to keep some momentum rolling in Saturday’s matchup against Gonzaga. There is a chance that BYU looks ahead a little bit, but the Cougars are coming off of a 28-point win over Loyola Marymount and a 15-point win over Pacific, so they’re playing some pretty solid ball.
BYU is a top-25 team by adjusted defensive efficiency this season, which is important in a game that will be played at a fast pace. That’s because Pepperdine is not a good defensive team and that should give BYU the upper hand on possessions with and without the ball. The Waves are finishing well at the rim, but almost never get to the free throw line and draw a BYU defense allowing a shot share against of just 27.6% on Close Twos, which ranks sixth. Meanwhile, Pepperdine’s shot share against on Close Twos ranks 360th.,
The Cougars scored 91 points in the first meeting and probably could have fared better on defense, as Pepperdine was 14-of-31 on mid-range jumpers and a perfect 11-for-11 at the rim. To this point, it remains their second-worst game by points per possession in conference play and I would not expect a repeat performance.
BYU was coming off of a one-point loss to Gonzaga the first time. Now, they’re just looking to ride the wave into the rematch and I think they make a statement in this one.
Pick: BYU -8
Kennesaw State is in a really good bounce back spot tonight against Jacksonville State. The Owls were pushed to the brink a week ago by Bellarmine in a 90-84 2OT win. Unfortunately, they had to go to Eastern Kentucky two days later and fell short in a 77-74 loss, which was only the second for the Owls in Atlantic Sun play.
Now they’re laying a relatively short number at Jacksonville State, but have had a few days to get back on track and figure some things out defensively. This game has the potential to be a little bit high-variance, as there will be a lot of 3-point shots and the two teams play at very different tempos. My guess is that Kennesaw State can speed up Jacksonville State at least a little bit because of turnovers.
The Owls have a 20% TO% on defense in conference play, while the Gamecocks have a 20.6% TO% on offense and that should lead to extra possessions for Kennesaw State. Given that the Gamecocks are pushing opponents into a 3-point attempt on 49.6% of shots, it helps that Kennesaw State ranks 14th in the nation in 3P% at 38.4%. Those extra possessions with turnovers could lead to run-outs and open looks from 3, which the Owls should be able to capitalize on.
I’m also a little bit skeptical of Jacksonville State’s elite rate of Close Twos against at 27.9% because there are so many teams in this conference that settle for a lot of jumpers. Kennesaw State is fourth in shot share on Close Twos, so they may get inside and have more success doing so than other teams.
Pick: Kennesaw State -4
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