NCAA best bets: Porter makes a Missouri memory?

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

March 16, 2018 07:55 AM
Michael Porter Jr. is back and looking to make a big impact in Missouri's first-round game against Florida State.
© USA Today Sports Images

So far, Michael Porter Jr. has had a college career to forget. There was back surgery, a total of 25 minutes played in two games, and zero shining moments. And that’s exactly why the spotlight will be on him Friday night.

Porter entered the season as the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. An injury in the first game almost ended his season, and somehow Missouri made the NCAA Tournament anyway. Always considered a one-and-done college player, Porter desperately wants to extend his stay by winning a meaningful game in March.

In his comeback last week in the Southeastern Conference tournament, the 6-foot-10 freshman was a detriment to the Tigers. He missed 12 of his 17 shots in 23 minutes in a loss to Georgia. He said he feels better this week and expects to make a positive impact in Missouri’s first-round game against Florida State in Nashville.

Porter’s chances of making a lasting memory seem encouraging. The Seminoles, losers of three of their past four games, have not beaten a quality opponent in more than a month. Porter and senior guard Kassius Robertson, a 42-percent 3-point shooter, will get opportunities against Florida State’s poor perimeter defense.

Tiger Woods is making an inspiring comeback from back surgery. Porter can do it, too.

Favorites won 13 of 16 games Thursday, when there were dramatic point-spread decisions all over the board. I was on the wrong side of Alabama’s upset of Virginia Tech and on the obvious right side of Buffalo’s blowout of Arizona. Go with Missouri as a 1½-point underdog, and here are five more plays for Friday:

* Butler (-1½) over Arkansas: The 10th-seeded Bulldogs have two elite scorers — Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin — and a history of March magic. The Razorbacks, who rank No. 100 in defensive efficiency, were pounded by Tennessee in the SEC tournament. Jaylen Barford leads a talented but unreliable Arkansas team. Martin and Baldwin will need to be big-shot makers for Butler to advance.

* Cal State Fullerton (plus-20½) over Purdue: On paper, this is the day’s biggest mismatch. The Boilermakers, especially 7-2 Isaac Haas, are too big inside and shoot 42 percent from 3-point range, the second-best mark in the nation. The Titans of the weak Big West Conference could get drilled. Still, Purdue went 1-10-2 against the spread down the stretch and had problems rebounding and protecting leads.

* Texas (-1) over Nevada: With 6-11 shot swatter Mo Bamba back on the floor, the Longhorns have a matchup edge over a Wolf Pack team with no big man. Nevada coach Eric Musselman has athletic wings — Caleb Martin and Jordan Caroline — and much better 3-point shooters. These teams are stylistic opposites. But Musselman also lost his point guard to injury and his team was embarrassed in the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas.

* Marshall (plus-12½) over Wichita State: Look to back big underdogs with scoring firepower. Veteran guards Jon Elmore (22.8 points per game) and C.J. Burks (20.5) can score for coach Dan D’Antoni and the Thundering Herd. The Shockers will win, because point guard Landry Shamet is too good, but this ‘dog can give Gregg Marshall’s team a run for the money.

* New Mexico State (plus-5) over Clemson: The Tigers were 16-3 with Donte Grantham and are 7-6 since losing their senior forward to a knee injury. Zach Lofton, Jemerrio Jones and the Aggies (28-5) should take this late game in San Diego to the wire.

Thursday: 2-2-1 against the spread

back to news



View All
  • Wednesday Line Moves for UFC Fight Island 8

    Wednesday Line Moves for UFC Fight Island 8

    Happy Wednesday! Today we have a loaded betting menu featuring 30-plus  college basketball games, 10 NBA games and 5 NHL games. For an updated breakdown...
  • Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Wednesday’s UFC event begins at 6 a.m. Pacific Time, so the theme might as well be Beatdowns and Bagels. Max Holloway dominated Calvin Kattar...
  • Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Kevin Na shot 61-65 on the weekend to win the Sony Open in Hawaii at as high as 80-1 odds. Na (40-1) will attempt to win in back-to-back weeks this week...
  • Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Last week we discussed the importance of taking a positive approach to college basketball futures betting. That is, focus on playing plus numbers instead...
  • First impressions as hockey returns

    First impressions as hockey returns

    It’s great to have hockey back, but bettors must temper their expectations and trust their preseason projections. Therefore, this is a great time...
  • Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    The NFL’s divisional playoff round was a mixed bag for us here at the Tuley’s Takes home office, though I spent Saturday at Circa with VSiN...
  • Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    And then there were four. We’re looking forward to what is maybe the single best day on the NFL calendar: Championship Sunday. The matchups are...
  • Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    For as different as this NFL season has been due to the impact of COVID-19, the first two weeks of the playoffs have generally followed the trends of...
  • How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    (To view the charts with this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) In a typical college basketball season, and to a lesser degree this season,...
  • Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    It’s generally easy for oddsmakers to post lines on most NFL games. The numbers are typically airtight, unlike in college football. A quarterback...
  • Championship Sunday capsules

    Championship Sunday capsules

    NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Buccaneers at Packers (3:05 p.m. ET Sunday) The Packers opened as consensus four-point home favorites against the...
  • With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    Another week gone, and bettors have yet to see any NBA team separate itself from the pack. The Los Angeles Lakers seem like the surest thing on the board,...

Google Play
App Store