As it has far too many times, my old frenemy Tuesday came back to bite me in the backside, as virtually nothing went according to plan yesterday. Even the one bet I won, Richmond-Rhode Island under, required the Rams to elect not to foul with the Spiders holding a seven-point lead. Elsewhere, Clemson figured out how to shoot against Duke, Missouri State forgot how to score against Indiana State and Rutgers just plain forgot how to play basketball for a half against Maryland.
It added up to a 1-4 performance, which just isn’t good enough. We’re back at it today and hoping to get this week back on track. Here are my best picks for January 26.
TENNESSEE -9.5, -110
The Volunteers have been perfect at home this season, these teams don’t play close games anyway and Colin Castleton is injured, taking away a huge part of Florida’s attack. Eight of the past 10 meetings between these teams have been decided by 10 points or more, and with the Vols coming off some success at home against LSU, I think they keep it rolling here.
PROVIDENCE TTU 65.5, -110
Providence’s offense has not traveled when it’s had to leave Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Friars have managed to top 66 points just once on the road all season, and that was at DePaul, which does not play defense well. Xavier does know how to play defense, and I think Providence might get exposed in this one.
MAINE-NEW HAMPSHIRE O127, -110
Maine has actually picked up its scoring in recent games, hitting the over in six of its past seven contests. The Black Bears might not be as fortunate as they were last time out against the Wildcats, where they won the game outright as a 10-point dog, but we just need them to score in the mid-60s for this one to hit, as New Hampshire is usually good for around 65-70 points. I think that’s doable.
FLAMES -1.5, +135
I’m breaking one of my hockey rules and betting the puck line here because Calgary is hot and Columbus is struggling. The Flames are 6-2 in their past eight road games and have gone 4-1 in their past five trips to Ohio. The Flames don’t play close games, as every one of their past 10 games has been decided by two goals or more, so that tells me to jump on the puck line.
FLORIDA STATE -5.5, -110
Somehow, Leonard Hamilton got through to his team that if it doesn’t pick up some wins, it’s not going to make the NCAA tournament. The Seminoles are winners of eight of nine and now face Georgia Tech and its weak offense. Defense is what the Seminoles do best, and this matchup should be right up their alley. Taking the Seminoles TTO 71.5 looks like a solid move as well, because the Yellow Jackets’ past four opponents have all hit that number, but I think backing Florida State to cover is the best play on the board here.