It’s a new week, and Mike Bets is back. Today is a slow day with just sixteen total basketball games across college and the pros. That doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun out there. Let’s get to the picks.
College Basketball Record: 200-196-3 on individual bets, 7-43 on parlays, +$7.00
All Involved CBB Picks: 268-250-6 ATS, 20-29 Dog MLs
NBA Record: 10-21, 0-6 on parlays, -$353 (not good)
Joint Parlays: 0-2, -$25
$22 for spread, $20 for ML
- Colorado (-3) v. Utah
Colorado is the better team here, but can they prove it? They’re now 9-3 on the year with the only losses coming to Tennessee, Arizona, and UCLA. Those last two have come in the last four games as they’ve split a Pac-12 stretch that also included USC and Oregon. Going 2-2 against some of the best teams in the conference is a pretty good result. Utah is just 4-4, and they’ve lost three in a row to UCLA (2), USC (18), and Oregon (6). They also lost by 18 to BYU, and their best win on the year came against 1-9 Washington. There’s no guarantee that Colorado wins this one going away, but you have to like their chances to control this game. So far, they look like a potential conference contender. Utah, quite simply, does not.
- UConn (-4.5) v. DePaul
A variety of covid issues have been a heavy impediment in the way of another potential step forward for the long-struggling DePaul program, and they’ve gotten off to a 1-3 start (0-3 in conference). They lost to this UConn team by 21 last week, and they’ve also lost to Providence and Seton Hall by 5 and 8, respectively. The Seton Hall game probably wasn’t as close as the score indicated, but the Providence game, which went to 2OT, was about as close as it possibly could have been. I just don’t think they have enough in the tank to deal with UConn here. The Huskies just entered the top 25, and they’ll be aiming to keep bad losses off of a resume that already features wins over USC and Marquette. They cruise again here.
- Boise State (-7.5) v. Wyoming
The Broncos have won ten in a row since a season-opening loss to Houston, and nine of those wins have come against D1 teams. Seven of the nine came by at least 11 points. This is a very good team, though the one-point win against San Jose State the other day after a 52-point win over the same team just a few days prior means that consistency is not necessarily a guarantee. I still like Boise today. Wyoming is 7-2, but they’re only 177th in the NET rankings and 183rd on KenPom. They haven’t really played anyone of note with no Quad 1 or 2 games, and many of their wins have come by less than impressive margins. Boise State is a huge step up, and the Cowboys will struggle to compete.
- CBB Parlay – $25 to win $81
Boise State, Colorado, UConn, and Loyola MLs (see Loyola preview below)
- Bucks (-10) v. Magic
The Bucks have won four of five, with all of the wins coming by double digits. The Magic have lost two in a row by 14+ since the loss of Markelle Fultz, and they will be without Evan Fournier again too. Take the Bucks.
- NBA Parlay – $17 to win $35
Pacers, Blazers, Hawks MLs (see brief previews below)
GAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON
- Temple v. SMU
This is quite simply a must-win game for SMU. After starting the season 6-0 with a win over Dayton, they’ve quickly fallen to 0-2 in AAC play. The first loss to Houston was more than acceptable, but a loss to a struggling Cincinnati team last time out will be harder to get past. Another loss here to 1-2 Temple would be catastrophic. SMU has a lot of work to do to earn an at-large bid, but the climb might be too much if they drop this one. Keep an eye on the Mustangs in this afternoon game. Can they bounce back and get the win they need?
- Loyola v. Indiana State
Indiana State picked up a massive win over Loyola yesterday. It was their first conference win of the season, and it’ll be a big momentum boost, even if the tournament ship sailed a long time ago for the 4-6 OVC team. It’s also a massive loss for Loyola. Not only does it put them a game behind undefeated Drake in the conference race, but it gives them a pretty bad loss. They missed opportunities against Wisconsin and Richmond in non-conference, and that left them with North Texas as the premier win on the resume. That won’t get it done, especially if you can’t run through your conference schedule. Keep an eye on the Ramblers. They need to bounce back.
- Bradley v. Northern Iowa
Bradley played for the first time since December 22 yesterday, and they fell by six to UNI. That’s an unfortunate blow for a team that has consistently fallen short of big wins this season (not that Northern Iowa is a particularly impressive victory to have right now). Bradley lost to Missouri, Xavier, and South Dakota State by 1, 1, and 4, respectively, and close wins over Toledo and Miami (OH) won’t make up for the missed opportunities. At the end of the day, this is just a team that plays close games. Yesterday’s loss was their sixth game of the season decided by two possessions or less. You’re going to end up with some wins and some losses when you play like that. Keep an eye on Bradley here because you have to figure they could at least be a threat to the top of the conference if they can pick up some momentum over the next few games. As for Northern Iowa, that win brought them to just 2-7 on the year against D1 opponents (2-3 in conference). This has been a good team historically, and some close calls in non-conference suggested that this team’s best basketball was ahead of them. I lost hope in that when they were swept by Evansville last week, but there is at least the potential to upset some of the top teams in the conference as the season continues. It won’t be easy for Bradley to walk away from this one with a win.
- Grizzlies v. Cavs
Keep an eye on the Cavs here. This is a good opportunity for them to get back above .500. They’ve fallen to 5-5 after a 1-3 run, but they beat Memphis by 4 just the other day. That doesn’t mean this will be easy. The Grizzlies are going to give you a game, even with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson out. They’ve either won or kept the game within 5 points in four of their last five games. It might not be easy, but this is the kind of game Cleveland needs to win if their early success is going to mean anything for the long haul.
- Wizards v. Suns
Keep an eye on the Wizards in this one. Scott Brooks is on the hot seat after a 2-8 start that has every game ending up as a shoot-out. Bradley Beal just dropped 60 in a loss. Russ Westbrook is out for a week. Thomas Bryant is out for the year. There’s a lot of basketball-related chaos in Washington right now, and a game against the 7-3 Suns probably isn’t going to help calm the storm. The Wizards host Phoenix and Utah in their next two. Getting wins there won’t be easy, but they’re already running out of time to turn things around.
- Kings v. Pacers
The Kings have suddenly lost five of six after a hot start, and their defense sits at the bottom of the league. Both Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes are questionable, and a Pacers team getting career-best play from Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis is coming to town. Keep an eye on Sacramento here. Can they bounce back? It’s not going to get any easier after this, with the Blazers, Clippers (twice), and Pelicans up next.
- Knicks v. Hornets
New York and Charlotte meet here in a battle of 5-5 teams. The Knicks have lost consecutive games by double digits to the Thunder and Nuggets after a three-game win streak briefly had them at 5-3. The Hornets have a three-game win streak of their own going right now after wins over the Hawks (twice) and Pelicans. Keep an eye on what should be an interesting game. The Hornets could use every win they can get as they look to make a playoff push after their big off-season moves. A home game against a reeling Knicks team that just played yesterday is about as good of an opportunity as you will find in this league.
- Raptors v. Trail Blazers
How long will Toronto continue to lose? They have wins of 17 and 21 points so far this season, and they somehow have lost their other seven games. Keep an eye on Portland here. They’ve fluttered between dominant and very poor on the way to a 5-4 start. Large wins in their last two have taken a bit of the sting out of an embarrassing loss to the Bulls, but a third win would be even better.
- Hawks v. 76ers
Keep an eye on Atlanta. They need this win. The Hawks have lost five of six after a 3-0 start, and you simply cannot lose to a team down eight players. A win would offer some momentum ahead of a tough Western road trip. A loss would be crushing.