Creighton dang near did it to me again. The Bluejays famously went up 17 at halftime on Xavier in a game where I had them +3, meaning I just needed them to lose the second half by 20 or less to cover. Of course, the Musketeers outscored the Bluejays 55-28 in that half, turning a certain win into a loss and causing me to swear off Creighton. But surely, I’d be safe with them against Georgetown, winless in the Big East, right?
Not quite. Creighton went up 20 this time and proceeded to let Georgetown get as close as six (well within the 10.5-point spread) before finally deciding enough was enough and closing out an 11-point victory to avoid the backdoor cover. It was almost disastrous, and yet it turned out fine in the end.
That’s sports betting sometimes. As long as you make a destination and actually get there, it’s fine. Hopefully, this set of games will be less stressful. Here are my plays for February 15.
MICHIGAN STATE-PENN STATE U129.5, -110
University Park is known for two things right now: ice cream and rock fights. I’ve not yet made it to Berkey Creamery (I have, however, made it to South Dakota State’s Dairy Bar, which is amazing), but I have certainly cashed on several Penn State rock fights, as Michigan, Indiana and Rutgers have come to Happy Valley and failed to break 60 points (and Iowa only hit the over because the teams scored 44 points in overtime). Michigan State has…failed to break 65 in its past three trips away from East Lansing. We’ve got a good shot here at another Penn State rock fight.
LONGWOOD TTO 71.5, -110
You might not be able to find Farmville, Va. on a map (head north on U.S. 15 from Durham and you’ll run into it), but you should know about the offense that Longwood is putting up at home. The Lancers have topped this number in four straight home games, and after losing their first Big South game of the year last time out, they should be ready to go against High Point. The Panthers defend the 3-pointer well, but the one thing they don’t do is rebound. What do you need to do to handle Longwood? Rebound.
WISCONSIN-INDIANA O132, -110
It’s now or never for Indiana. Wisconsin has been much more willing to be an over team this season, and Indiana is going to have to put up points at home if it wants to get back into the NCAA bubble conversation. The Hoosiers score a lot more at Assembly Hall than they do on the road, so I’m backing them to get the points here.
MERRIMACK-SACRED HEART U129.5, -110
It’s hard to do worse than dead last in the country in rebounding, but that’s where Merrimack is. The Warriors are also next to last in scoring, but they do rank 24th in the nation in defense. Merrimack also ranks fourth-slowest in tempo, which means some long, drawn-out battles.
CAPITALS-PREDATORS O6, -110
The Capitals haven’t been playing much defense as of late, giving up an average of four goals per game in their past four. That’s not a big deal when facing Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton, but Ottawa and Columbus aren’t exactly known for their attacks. Nashville has gone over in four of its past five games, so there’s a good chance we see goals in Tennessee.