College basketball schedule today has 30 games
We’ve got a full rack of your favorite cheap beer in terms of the number of games today. Anytime I see the number 30, I think of Busch Light. Maybe that says a lot about me. Anyway, that’s how many games we’ve got tonight, including some top-tier matchups in the Big 12, with the Sunflower Showdown between Kansas and Kansas State as the game of the night.
For those who prefer a 12-pack, that’s what we’ve got across the NBA and NHL tonight, with four games in the Association and eight games on the ice. Jonathan Von Tobel is your main man for NBA picks and Andy MacNeil has daily NHL betting tips. Check them out today and every day.
Here are some thoughts on the Jan. 17 card (odds from DraftKings):
I think these teams are going in different directions at this point and Florida State has some road value in South Bend. The Seminoles continue to have defensive issues, but Leonard Hamilton has figured things out offensively. After starting the season 1-9 with only two games that featured at least 1.0 points per possession, the Seminoles have had at least 1 PPP in six of their last eight games. They didn’t last time out against Virginia, which happens to a lot of teams, and also against Duke on New Year’s Eve after a 10-day layoff.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, went five straight games with under 1 PPP until shooting 15 of 37 from 3 in Saturday’s loss to Syracuse. The Fighting Irish have played 18 games and allowed at least 1 PPP in 14 of them. The other four were against Southern Indiana, Michigan State, Jacksonville and Georgia Tech.
Among the improvements for Florida State, they’ve been a bit better on the offensive glass than they were early in the season and they’ve been really good on 2s in conference play in the five games not against Virginia’s pack-line defense. There are still some 5s out there and I’d recommend jumping on one. I think 4.5 is OK as well, as I think the Seminoles have a great shot to win outright.
Pick: Florida State +5 (widely available)
Archie Miller’s first season in Kingston is off to a slow start. It doesn’t help that the Rams are one of the nation’s worst offensive teams. Rhode Island ranks 348th in eFG% per Bart Torvik against Division I opponents. They are shooting 29.1% from 3 (337th) and 44.4% (335th) on 2s. They’re also turning the ball over a lot. They do get to the free throw line and have done well on the offensive glass, but those are two strengths that the Spiders possess on defense.
Richmond ranks 28th in offensive rebounding percentage against vs. D-I opponents and 60th in FT Rate. The Spiders are also the slower-paced team and the one with a high expectation of coming away with a victory. Generally speaking, the better team will control the tempo of a game, and this line suggests that Richmond is the far superior team. This game should be played to somewhere around 65 or 66 possessions, barring a giant foul fest at the finish. It’s hard to see Rhode Island holding up its end of the bargain at that tempo.
One thing that the Rams have done well is defend the 3-point line. Both teams have done well in that regard, as Rhode Island has allowed a 31.5% success rate on 3s and Richmond has allowed just a 30.8% success rate. Richmond shoots a lot of 3s. Rhode Island doesn’t, but Richmond’s defensive style may force it.
With that in mind, I think we get a lot of empty offensive possessions in this game. Richmond matches up really well here in a lot of ways and Rhode Island has been stout defensively, ranking 58th in 2P% defense and 80th in 3P% defense. This looks like an Under to me.
Pick: Under 135
I’m sure it’s a breath of fresh air for me to pick some marquee games with teams that everybody knows, but it’s hard to find value in those games. I think we have value tonight on the Jayhawks. In seven games against Top 50 teams as defined by Bart Torvik, Kansas has allowed .998 or fewer points per possession in six of them. The only big hiccup was against Texas Tech with 1.07 PPP, but the Jayhawks won 75-72 and I was on them in that Jan. 3 game at -1.5.
The Jayhawks have also had at least 1.079 PPP in four of those seven games, with the lone awful offensive performance in a neutral setting against Tennessee in a 64-50 loss that remains Kansas’s only defeat of the season.
Kansas State is 3-1 in its Top 50 games, all against Big 12 foes, but two of the wins came in overtime. The Wildcats also allowed at least 1.084 PPP in three of those four games and have had two major outlier offensive performances with 1.414 PPP against Texas and 1.235 PPP against Baylor, going 13 of 24 from 3 against Texas and 11 of 25 from 3 against Baylor.
Kansas is in the top 15 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy and Kansas State ranks 36th in offensive efficiency and 40th in defensive efficiency. I think the Wildcats are good, but they’re not quite on Kansas’ level and I think that shows here.
Pick: Kansas -1.5
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