TCU +7.5 @ Kansas, Saturday 1 pm, Total: 145.5
The Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs (14-4, 3-3) travel to Allen Fieldhouse to take on the Kansas Jayhawks (16-2, 5-1). Kansas is coming off a national championship season and has been among the best college basketball teams this year.
TCU has been a sneaky good team in the Big 12 and has slid under the radar in many respects. They’ve covered 3 of 5 games on the road and have lost by an average of only five points per game in their three conference losses.
Kansas ranks in the top 20 for offensive and defense efficiency in the country, and they have no shortage of talented players. They’re coming off a one-point loss to the Kansas State University Wildcats (16-2, 5-1). It’ll be interesting to see if they can bounce back in such short order.
This seems to be a great spot for a team in TCU that has upset potential and the talent to keep this game close. Give me the horned frogs with the points.
PICK: TCU +7.5
Virginia -4 @ Wake Forest, Saturday 2 pm, Total: 138
The Virginia (UVA) Cavaliers (14-3, 6-2) have been among the best college basketball teams in the country, as they’re ranked tenth in the country, and have spent much of the year inside the top 10. The Cavaliers are one of the only teams in the country in the top 25 for offensive AND defensive efficiency.
They’ll travel to take on the Wake Forest Deacons (14-5, 6-2) who have had an impressive year themselves. UVA has struggled covering the spread this year with an abysmal 5-11 record against the spread, but they’ve covered 2 of their last 3.
Wake Forest got the best of Virginia in their last matchup on Sunday, but they find themselves underdogs. This line opened at UVA -2.5 and has quickly shifted to -4.
Defense often shows up big on the road, and I expect that to continue to be the case. Given that Virginia is favored on the road, this number is too low for a game they should certainly get the win.
PICK: UVA -4
LSU +11.5 vs. Tennessee, Saturday 4 pm, Total: 138.5
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has been an interesting basketball conference to follow, as the Kentucky Wildcats (12-6, 3-3) and Arkansas Razorbacks (12-6, 1-5) have fallen short of their expectations thus far. The SEC preseason polls pitted Kentucky, Arkansas, and the Tennessee Volunteers (15-3, 5-1) as the perennial favorites, respectively. Tennessee has been the only team that has shown some consistency in conference play.
Coming off an ugly home loss to Kentucky, the Volunteers were able to hold off the Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-6, 1-5) on Tuesday. If they consider themselves to be a contender, they’ll need to prove it against the LSU Tigers (12-6, 1-5) on Saturday.
As for LSU, the tigers have had a less-than-ideal start to SEC play. A 1-5 conference record doesn’t look great, but they have played arguably the toughest schedule to this point. Transfer forward KJ Williams has been outstanding, scoring 17.9 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.
LSU will have to score at a high rate to keep up with a Volunteers team that has scoring across their entire lineup. The Tigers has failed to cover the spread in their last four contests, while Tennessee has covered three of their last five. Despite that, LSU has won this matchup four of the last five times.
The LSU Tigers being at home should give them a boost and a chance to play solid basketball. 11.5 points is too many in my opinion.
PICK: LSU +11.5
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