As it usually is, Monday was again a tonic for us, as three out of five games cashed, with Santa Clara and the Hornets coming through as underdogs. George Mason nearly made it four winners but could never get over the hump, but the day was still worth 1.5 units in profit as a whole.
Tuesday has proven to be a much bigger thorn in my side, but with a lot of college basketball games on the slate today, that will hopefully change. Here are my best plays for November 23.
BUCKNELL-MERCER O149.5, -110
Bucknell’s coming off a 100-point performance in which the Bison didn’t even shoot that well, in large part because they don’t miss free throws. They also give up a lot of attempts at the line, which means lots of points with the clock stopped. Case in point, on Saturday against Illinois State, 13 points came in the final 40 seconds of regulation. Mercer hasn’t been scoring a lot, but the Bears’ 3-point defense has been terrible, which is less than ideal when facing the hot shooting of Andrew Funk (22.5 points per game). This is set up well for the over.
BUFFALO-BALL STATE CFB U58.5, -110
Don’t look for a lot of points in this instance of MACtion. The Bulls are a running team, and the Cardinals have just looked off on offense all year long. This is likely to be a rock fight, as both teams will try to keep the ball on the ground and keep the clock running. I think this game’s going to be a lot closer to the low 50s than the high 50s when all is said and done.
GEORGIA TTU 67, -110
It’s a good thing Georgia’s got a great football team, because the Bulldogs are a mess in basketball. Northwestern plays pretty decent defense and has held four of its five opponents to 67 or less for the year. Georgia isn’t a team of good shooters, and the Bulldogs are coming off having to play against Virginia’s frustrating pack-line defense, which means the Bulldogs will probably be rushing after being forced to play at a crawl. Look for Northwestern to lock down here.
BLACKHAWKS TTU2, +100
The Blackhawks have scored two or less in five of their past seven games, and they’re on the road against Calgary’s league-leading goaltenders. Whether it’s Jakob Markstrom or Dan Vladar in goal hasn’t seemed to matter to the Flames; the defense is getting the job done night in and night out. Under 2.5 is a much more certain winner, but I’ll take the chance of a push at 2 to get even money on another top night from the Flames.
HEAT-PISTONS O207.5, -110
South Beach has been where offenses go to die, but that doesn’t change the fact the the Pistons can’t play defense to save their lives. Miami is scoring as of late, and Detroit ranks dead last in opposing field goal percentage and 29th in opposing 3-point percentage. I might play the Heat at TTO 108.5 simply because the Pistons aren’t good at scoring the ball either, but I think Miami is going to push this total over on the offensive end.
SACRAMENTO STATE-CAL DAVIS U135, -110
The Big Sky is a shooter’s league, so what did Sacramento State do? Focus on getting players who can defend the 3-pointer. That leads to low scoring games, especially against a team that’s very weak from the perimeter like Cal-Davis. But while the Hornets defend the 3-ball, the Aggies’ strength is in defending the inside shot. Both should be able to stop each other in this neutral-site game, as the adjustment to playing in the Kings’ arena should hold the score down.