College basketball. College football. One day. Let’s enjoy it. 24 picks below. It’s been a good week so far. Today we keep that going. Go Troy. Go Blue.
College Basketball Record: 41-29-2 on individual bets, 3-9 on parlays, +$243.00
All Involved CBB Picks: 57-37-3 ATS, 2-1 Dog MLs
$11 to win $10
- Nebraska (-8.5) v. North Dakota St
The Cornhuskers followed a blowout of McNeese State with a blown game against Nevada. They lost 66-69 despite holding a lead late. Add the fire they’ll be playing with after that disappointing loss to the fact that Nevada beat ND St by 14, and you’ve got coverage here.
- Pittsburgh (-8.5) v. Drexel
Pitt lost to St Francis in their opener, trailing 33-46 at the half and eventually losing by 10. That’s not great for an average ACC team that returned over half of last year’s production. St Francis did win 22 games last year, but it’s still a loss that digs the Panthers a hole right out of the gate. Does that hole get deeper today? Drexel returns essentially the entire roster after a 14-19 season, but it won’t be enough. There better be a fire under Pitt today, and that fire sparks them to a commanding win.
- St Louis (-3.5) v. LSU
Here we have the odd scenario of two 1-0 teams who played the same opponent in their first game. St Louis downed SIU Edwardsville 89-52 on Wednesday. LSU beat them 94-81 on Thursday. I have a bad habit of putting LSU higher than they should be, but I won’t fall to that today. This is an old, solid Billikens team, and they ride their defense to coverage here.
- University of Texas San Antonio (-3) v. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
- Penn State (-19.5) v. VMI
The Keydets haven’t been above .500 since 2014. But, the other day, they beat St Andrews (not the golf course) by 27. Here’s the problem – 20 days ago, Kentucky Christian University beat St Andrews by 30. Kentucky Christian has about 500 college students and is also the home of a high school. To be fair to KCU and everyone involved here, they’ve won 15 national titles in the last 30 years. Never mind. That was actually the women’s team. I read that wrong. Either way, the point that I was going to make was that this team, as far as I can tell, plays in Division 2 of the National Christian College Athletic Association. They beat St Andrews by more than VMI. There’s a whole lot of chaos surrounding the Penn St program right now, but don’t let that stop you from riding with the Nittany Lions here.
- USC (-11.5) v. Montana
Montana took a step back to 18-13 last year after two consecutive trips to the tourney, and they lost a good deal of talent after the season. Playing their first game against a USC team that will likely be inspired after a tougher-than-it-should-have-been OT win over Cal Baptist isn’t ideal. I like the Trojans to make a much more impressive second outing.
- South Florida v. Rhode Island (+1.5)
Rhode Island is 0-2, but those losses came to Arizona State and Boston College by 6 and 5 points, respectively. Meanwhile, South Florida needed a late run to get past Florida College, a NAIA team. I’d like Rhode Island to bounce back against most teams, and South Florida certainly falls into that category. URI won’t be 0-3.
- Arkansas v. North Texas (+8.5)
Arkansas opened with an 80-point win over Mississippi Valley State. 80. Now, MVS (not the Packers wide receiver) hasn’t won more than 9 games since 2014, but they also haven’t lost by… I was going to say something about this being unusual for them here, but they lost to Utah by 94 just last season. They also lost to Central Michigan by 56. In conclusion, don’t read into that 80-point win too much. So, how’s North Texas? They beat Mississippi Valley State by 56 on Thursday. Good Lord. Hold on for a second –
- Wyoming (-28.5) v. Mississippi Valley State
No way this backfires.
Alright. Back to the Arkansas game. North Texas is pretty good. They’ve won 20+ games three years in a row and returned just over half of last year’s production. Arkansas is trying to follow up on their own 20-win season but returns very little. In a bit of a toss-up, I’d lean towards North Texas keeping this one closer than 9.
- Minnesota (-14.5) v. Loyola Marymount
Minnesota rolled to a 99-69 win over UW Green Bay in their opener despite a lull in the middle of the game. I trust them to cover 15 here against a middling mid-major in Loyola Marymount.
- Michigan State v. Notre Dame (+10.5)
MSU is the favorite for a reason here, and they’ve played a game while the Fighting Irish have not. Still, Notre Dame won 20 games last year. They have a talented roster again this year. They keep this one within single digits.
- BYU (-17.5) v. Utah Valley
BYU coach Mark Pope faces off against his old team here. Utah Valley went 48-21 in the last two years of Pope’s tenure, but they now return just about 20% of the production from last year’s team, a team that won just 11 games in the first year of the post Pope era. BYU continues their hot start to the season (2-0, +74) with another big win in this one.
- Washington St v. Eastern Washington (+3.5)
Washington State beat Texas Southern 56-52 in their opener. They won half of their games last year, and it was the first time since 2012. Just under half of last year’s production returned. This isn’t a great team. Eastern Washington went 23-8 last year, their fourth 20-win season in six years, and they return the vast majority of the production from that team. They beat Belmont and played Boston College close last year. They can beat Washington State, and they do in this game.
- Villanova (-8.5) v. Virginia Tech
Va Tech started their season off with a 15-point win over Radford, a program that has won at least 20 games in each of the last three seasons but entered this season with a lot of new faces. Tech brought back a decent amount of pieces from last year’s 16-16 team, and they’ll look to build on that record this year. That process won’t start producing results today. Nova beat both BC and ASU by 9 in their season-opening tournament, and they win by a little more here against a Tech team that has not yet played a Power 5 opponent.
- Baylor (-20) v. Louisiana Lafayette
Both teams are playing their first game of the season. The difference? Baylor is ranked #2 in the country and returns most of what would have been a 1 seed last season. Louisiana went 14-19 last year, and they start 0-1 with a big loss tonight.
- South Carolina v. Liberty (+8)
Liberty opened with a loss to Purdue before beating Mississippi State. This is still a very good mid-major despite the losses they suffered from last season. South Carolina is playing in their first game after an 18-13 season. They return the majority of last year’s production but also haven’t been anything but mediocre over the last three years. I like Liberty to keep this one close.
- TCU (-3.5) v. Tulsa
This is a tough call. TCU is 1-0 after a 69-45 win over Houston Baptist, and they’re trying to recover after a down year last season (16-16). Tulsa is playing their first game and attempting to keep a good run going under Frank Haith. They’ve won 18 or more games in five of his six seasons. I’ll go with the Horned Frogs based on their defensive performance in their opening game and the fact that they already have that game under their belt.
$12 to win $11
- Abilene Christian (-7.5) v. Nebraska Omaha
Twice we have bet on Abilene Christian, and twice they have delivered. They beat Austin Peay by 8 in their second game, and Nebraska Omaha lost to Peay by 6 in their first game. That’s good enough for me. Ride the AC train while it lasts.
- Duke v. Coppin State (+37)
Coppin State had their best year since 2014 last year. They won 11 games. 37 is still a lot of points for a young Duke team playing their first game of the season. Duke could absolutely cover, but I’m taking Coppin State and crossing my fingers.
- Buffalo v. Army (+9.5)
Army has started with two big wins against terrible competition, and that momentum allows them to keep it close here against Buffalo. Buffalo is a good MAC team, but they also beat Towson by just nine the other day. Army can hang here.
- UT Arlington (-6.5) v. Northwestern State
Northwestern St only has a 43-point loss to Texas Tech on the season. UT Arlington has kept it close with Oklahoma State and LA Tech. They get their first win rather easily here.
- Western Carolina (-1.5) v. UNC Asheville
Both teams lost yesterday. Both teams have also played UNC Wilmington. WCU won by more than 20. Asheville lost by 8. Take WCU.
- Troy (-2.5) v. UNC Wilmington
Troy beat Western Carolina, who beat UNC Wilmington by a ton. The Transitive Property of Coverage demands a Troy play here.
- THE WON’T LOSE PARLAY – $10 to win $100
Minnesota -14.5, Troy -2.5, Baylor -21, Liberty +8
- THE WON’T LOSE ML PARLAY – $10 to win $123
TCU, Rhode Island, Saint Louis, Troy, Nebraska, Villanova
Best Case: +$449
Worst Case: -$268