Sometimes, you have to take a gamble, even when it doesn’t work out. That was the logic behind my pick of Texas Tech to get a win at Allen Fieldhouse at what ended up being +275. I knew it was unlikely to hit, but at those numbers, the value was too good not to at least try.
And it darn near worked, as the Red Raiders pushed into double overtime before ultimately succumbing to the Jayhawks, meaning that my cover bet (which I was smart enough to play) won, but I couldn’t get the big payout. Ultimately, I went 2-3 on my moneyline plays thanks to Winthrop melting down and the Bruins falling flat at home, with my Big Sky plays coming through as usual. It is my league for a reason.
We’re back to totals today, so it’s going to be a college basketball heavy day. Here are my plays for January 25.
RICHMOND-RHODE ISLAND U137.5, -110
Richmond’s really not a great offensive team away from the Robins Center; the Spiders only average 70 points a game away from home. Rhode Island shoots the ball well but doesn’t take all that many shots, so this is likely to be a game of drawn-out possessions that’s played in the mid to low 60s. As long as Jacob Gilyard doesn’t go off, the under looks like a good move.
MISSOURI STATE TTO 75.5, -110
Missouri State’s attack is clicking right now, as the Bears have hit this number in four of their past five contests and came just two points shy in the fifth game. The Bears shoot 40 percent from behind the arc, and Indiana State isn’t very good at defending the 3-pointer. Plus, the Bears usually have success against the Sycamores, having won 11 of the past 12 meetings and five straight in Terre Haute. I like their chances to hit this number.
CLEMSON TTU 67.5, -110
I honestly wonder how Clemson is going to get to this number in Cameron. The Tigers have made it once in their past seven visits to Duke, and they did it by half a point that game. The Blue Devils are the wrong matchup for the Tigers, as they’re big inside and aren’t going to allow Clemson more than one look at the hoop. Duke has only allowed three teams to reach 68 points in Cameron this year. I can’t see Clemson becoming No. 4.
MARYLAND TTU 64.5, -110
The Terrapins are 2-2 in reaching this number on the road in the Big Ten, but the two where they’ve hit it were Iowa, which plays no defense and Northwestern, which also isn’t good at defense. Against defensive-minded Michigan and Illinois on the road, the Terps got stuck on 64. Now they’ve got to go up to the RAC, and Rutgers makes everyone play on its terms in the RAC. The Scarlet Knights managed to force Iowa into a 48-46 rock fight and held Purdue to 68 in Piscataway. They can handle Maryland there.
RAPTORS TTU 112.5, -110
Charlotte’s defense isn’t horrible, holding seven of its past nine opponents under this number. Toronto hasn’t hit 110 points in any of its past eight games. The Raptors have also failed to break 112 in four of their past five meetings with the Hornets. Toronto is going to bust out of its offensive slump at some point, but tonight doesn’t seem to be that night.
BENGALS-CHIEFS O54, -115
This isn’t a Tuesday game, but I’m putting it in for an important reason: this total is only going to climb higher by kickoff. These teams put up 65 points on Jan. 2 in Cincinnati, and neither side looks capable of stopping the other one. If you want to bet the over, bet it now before the total gets out of control. It’s already at 54 and it’s set to go to 55 at some books. Don’t wait until Sunday for this one.