By Ron Jumper
Sunday January 17, 2010:
For today, I thought I would examine the current landscape of college basketball as we dip our feet into conference play. I will have another edition of Jumpology coming soon, so look at this as a precursor to that. This is a pivotal time handicapping as well, as the non-conference slate is over and there is nowhere for frauds to hide. It always happens where a mediocre team goes 13-1 or 12-2 in the non-conference, pops in the polls, but falls flat on their face once conference play begins. We’ll look at that plus some hot mid-major teams to keep an eye on.
College Basketball Record:
Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12)
The 12-2 start inspired a sense of confidence in the Red Raider basketball team, however they have fallen flat on their face in Big 12 play. So much so that they were 21 point dogs against Kansas and failed to cover, losing 89-63. At first glance, all those points seemed like great value. I hope you didn’t get lured in.
Miami Hurricanes (15-3 overall, 1-3 ACC)
The Hurricanes were 14-0 in the non-conference and were thought to have reloaded for this season. However, they have lost their last 2 games in embarrassing fashion to Virginia Tech (81-66) and Virginia (75-57). Despite the ACC not being as tough as usual, the Hurricanes have been unimpressive to say the least.
The Entire Pac-10 Conference
This conference is a mess right now, as I truly don’t know who would be a lock for the NCAA tournament if this were Selection Sunday. Coming in, Cal was thought to be the best team but they lost to all the high caliber teams they faced in the non-conference: Kansas, Syracuse, Ohio State, and New Mexico. Within conference play, it is a cluster where every team is hovering around .500 or so. The top place team, Arizona State, is 4-2 while there is a four-way tie for last place at 2-3. At this rate, due to a lack of quality non-conference wins by the conference as a whole, determining at-large bids could be a headache. It reminds me of the SEC last year, as no one had enough signature wins outside of SEC play to feel safe getting in even if they had 9 or 10 wins in conference play.
Mid-Majors To Watch:
BYU Cougars (18-1 overall, 3-0 MWC)
More importantly, they have a 9-6 ATS record to boost. In their last game against Colorado State, they not only covered the 18-point spread but they cruised to a 44-point trouncing of the Rams. This bodes well for backers, however keep an eye on these lines inflating as the public becomes more and more aware of how well this team is playing. Once that happens, the oddsmakers will allocate more time to making a sharper line.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (17-2 overall, 5-0 WAC)
While the football program has been getting more attention lately, as Derek Dooley just took the Tennessee head coaching job, this is a very good mid-major club. Now, are they a team that should be ranked in the top 25 and a threat to be a bracket buster in March? Probably not. However, are they by far the best team in a bad Western Athletic Conference? Without question. With that in mind, they currently have a 9-4 ATS mark so far this season. This team does have some talent, with the inside-outside combo of guard Kyle Gibson and 6-11 LSU-transfer Magnum Rolle inside so I don’t think they would be an easy out for anyone. They are currently riding a 10-game winning streak overall.
Northern Iowa Panthers (16-1 overall, 7-0 MVC)
To be 7-0 in the Missouri Valley says it all, but you know I’ve got to ramble on more than that. I would feel remiss not mentioning their wins over Boston College, Iowa, Iowa State, and Sienna in the non-conference, as well as big MVC wins on the road at Creighton, Southern Illinois, and Illinois State. The Panthers have a huge game at Wichita State this Tuesday, as the Shockers are the clear-cut second best team in the conference right now. Also, Charles Koch Arena is one of the hidden gems in all of college basketball, giving Wichita State a huge home-court advantage. In fact, the Shockers are 11-0 thus far this season. Either the Panthers perfect conference record or the Shockers perfect home record will come to an end Tuesday night. If UNI can prevail, they will have a leg up on the rest of the MVC in the standings because the tops teams will have to come to there place in the back half of MVC play.
Saturday January 16, 2010:
I’m keeping this one short and sweet, here are my five top plays for Saturday in college basketball. Enjoy!
Washington State –6
South Carolina +1
Southern Miss +12.5
Friday January 15, 2010:
I finished with winning 2-1 ATS night Thursday night, with it almost being a perfect 3-0 sweep before Auburn decided to mail in the second half. The Tigers held a double-digit lead at times in the first half and trailed by just one at half time but ended up losing 81-55. Chattanooga held on for the win at home to make it 11 straight over The Citadel and UW-Green Bay extended their Horizon League play home winning streak to 15 games. For tonight, with it being Friday, I have just one play. Enjoy!
College Basketball Record:
Northern Colorado (-2) covers vs. Portland State
The Bears stand at 15-3 overall while the Vikings are just 7-9. Granted, PSU has a perfect 5-0 record at home but I’m taking Northern Colorado to survive and move on in this one. The Vikings are just 2-5 in their last 7 and I’m expecting their poor play to continue.
Thursday January 14, 2010:
Last night was a disappointing 2-2 night, with George Mason winning but not covering and Nevada losing a close one in overtime. Virginia Tech won easy and Tulsa covered but made me sweat it out until the final buzzer. All in all, it was nothing to complain about. For tonight, I’ve got three plays ready to go that I feel great about. Enjoy!
College Basketball Record:
Auburn (+15) covers vs. Tennessee
The Tigers catch the Vols in a classic letdown spot, after Tennessee shocked then number 1 Kansas. Auburn is not as talented as the Vols, but I expect their scrappy, aggressive style to keep them in this game and give them a shot against a Vols team that has been reading its press clippings the last few days.
Chattanooga (-1.5) covers vs. The Citadel
The Mocs have won 10 in a row against the Citadel and own the all-time series with a 52-13 edge. Considering this is a home game for the Mocs in McKenzie Arena and they have the better overall record, I’m siding with them in this one.
Wisconsin-Green Bay (+5) covers vs. Wright State
The Phoenix have a 14-game winning streak within Horizon League play at home in the Resch Center, yet they are the underdogs tonight. Also, WGB is 14-4 at home against Wright State all-time. Both teams have identical 11-6 overall records and 4-2 Horizon League records. I’m taking the points and wouldn’t be surprised if the dog got a straight up win in this one.
Wednesday January 13, 2010:
All right, all right…
I know it has been awhile since I’ve posted the Daily Dose of Hoops…
Back off, folks!
I’ve been out of the country on vacation, traveling around London and Paris. I posted Bowl Picks before I left that so there were picks available on the website for much of my absence (cashed in a 5-0 ATS run on the BCS Bowls) and I took time to post Wildcard Playoff picks (though they only went 1-3). None the less, it is time to start focusing on basketball now that college football is officially over and the NFL will soon follow suit. For tonight, I’ve got a nice four-pack of plays to cash in on. I hope you enjoy them!
College Basketball Record:
Virginia Tech (-3) covers vs. Miami
The Hokies are a very solid club, especially at home (7-0). I am not sold that Miami is the real deal just yet, even at 15-1 overall. The Hurricanes are just 1-1 in ACC play thus far. Expect Virginia Tech to get a solid win at home tonight.
George Mason (-7.5) covers vs. Georgia State
The Patriots are 7-1 at home and the Panthers are 1-5 on the road, which side would you rather be on? I’m taking Jim Larranaga and George Mason at home here. Now that CAA play has begun, I expect GM to get things going in the right direction. It starts tonight.
Tulsa (-5.5) covers vs. SMU
The Golden Hurricanes are the superior team in this matchup, not only with the better overall record and talent level, but with the size mismatch they create. The Mustangs will have no answer inside against seven-footer Jerome Jordan, as they are not a great rebounding team to begin with. From there, things will fall into place for Tulsa.
Nevada (-3) covers vs. Utah State
Both teams are similar in that they are dominant at home but suspect on the road. Well this game is in Reno, so I’m taking the Wolfpack and their 8-0 home record. Expect a great night from Luke Babbit inside.