Last night was a perfect example of why it’s important to trust your instincts and your numbers. Despite seemingly everyone jumping on Alabama last night, history and the numbers both said that this was Georgia’s time to finally even the score. Only Kyle and I were bold enough to back the Dawgs last night, and it paid off when Georgia both won and covered.
On the other side of the coin, yet another football total failed for me when Georgia decided to take the interception back for a score rather than run Alabama out of timeouts. The lesson, as always, for me: totals are for college basketball, not college football.
But that and the Rangers were my only miscues yesterday, as my college basketball plays went 3-0. We’ve got a full slate of games today, so it’s time to ride that momentum into Tuesday. Here are my plays for January 11.
INDIANA STATE TTU 71.5, -110
The Sycamores are going to Cedar Falls with seven players, which means they can’t press the floor as much as they usually like to do. Even if they could, Indiana State was already in a stretch where it failed to top 70 in three of its past four contests. Northern Iowa’s defense isn’t great, but with only seven players active on the other side, I think the Panthers can slow the Sycamores down well enough.
RUTGERS-PENN STATE U132, -110
Penn State is quietly becoming a decent team, and the Nittany Lions like a slow tempo with drawn out possessions. Rutgers is 0-4 on the road and failed to break 65 in each of its past two road games. If Penn State is going to get a win, it’s got to play at a slow pace, and I think it can control the tempo here.
EASTERN KENTUCKY-NORTH ALABAMA U151.5, -110
For five straight games, Eastern Kentucky has gone under the total. Yet the books keep setting high totals like Pumba trying to cash an over in the national championship game last night. But unlike Pumba finally getting lucky, the books appear to be misfiring here. For one, Eastern Kentucky isn’t playing very well right now, and the Colonels are just 1-5 on the road. For another, North Alabama doesn’t want to play that fast. The Lions are defensive-minded; they want this game in the 60s. I think they get closer to that than we do to Eastern Kentucky sprinting all game.
AUBURN-ALABAMA O156.5, -110
But this game in Alabama is likely to have a lot of points. Alabama loves to run and Auburn is happy to respond in kind. This one could find its way to the 90s before these teams are done. The Iron Bowl doesn’t usually have a lot of defense played on the hardwood, so give me the offenses.
KENTUCKY-VANDERBILT U145, -110
If you’ve never been to Memorial Gym in Nashville, you should know it’s the most disorienting gym in the nation. It takes time to learn to shoot in Vanderbilt’s weird setup, and Kentucky is young as always. Throw in that Vandy likes to play good defense, and this suggests a lower-scoring game.