College Basketball Picks 1/29/2021

Big day of college hoops! With the Big 12 and SEC inter-conference matchups happening, we thought this called for a more official looking representation of our plays for the day. Of course we may always add more throughout the day on Twitter (follow us @TheSharpSidePod if you are new), but here are our overnight looks at the college basketball slate!

2 units – Missouri TCU under 138

It’s shocking to see such a high total for two teams that rely on their defenses. I think there is a ton of value on this number because in every Missouri game they have allowed their opponents to dictate the tempo. Before SEC play, Missouri games against teams with offenses as poor as TCUs and tempos as slow as TCUs would be high 120s and low 130s. However, with all the new data points from games against fast and efficient offenses like Auburn, Arkansas and South Carolina, the books have over adjusted. Against teams with tempos 250 or lower, the totals in Missouri’s games have finished at 129 (Liberty – 349 in tempo), 107 (Bradley – 260 tempo), 126 + 137 (Tennessee – 303 tempo), 120 (Texas AM – 337) and 141 (Miss St – 316). TCU ranks at 251 in tempo and their offense ranks outside of the top 100. Outside of the Miss St game where Miss st outscored Missouri 51-24 in the second half, Missouri is a dead under team when playing against snail paced teams. As long as TCU doesn’t turn the rock over like there’s no tomorrow I love this under all the way down to 135.

1 unit – Kansas St Texas AM under 124.5

Since the turn of the new year, Texas AM and K state both rank worse than 260 in offensive efficiency and 212 and 330, respectively in tempo.  To put it best, the first team to 60 (if they get there) likely wins this game.  It’s a very low total, yes, but with the tempos and offenses of both these teams I think any total in the 120s may be too high.

1 unit – Clemson +6.5 at Duke

Going back to the well.  We were on the wrong side of one of the worst beats of the season on Wednesday with Georgia Tech at Duke, but Georgia Tech was 110% the right side.  Again, I think you are paying a tax if you are laying it here with Duke.  If you take out 3 games in Clemson’s resume (all of which came after a 10+ day COVID layoff), they are a legitimate top 10-15 team.  Like we saw with Rutgers’ last game against MSU, they carried the momentum from their first win after a long losing streak and I expect the same here from Clemson.  I also lean to this under.  Duke has struggled to find offensive production all season outside of Matthew Hurt, and Clemson has played superb defense.  I think Duke will be challenged all game to find offensive success which also leads me to this under.  We know that Clemson has also had their woes offensively, and with a total at 133.5 I think it could be a few points too high.  Do like the Clemson side more, which makes it an official play.

1 unit – Seton Hall +5.5

We saw this game play out a week ago in Nova’s first game back since the COVID layoff with Nova winning by 2.  In Seton Hall’s last 3 games, they’ve played excellent basketball.  Though they’re just 1-2, they easily could be 2-1 or 3-0.  Here at home, just 9 days later, I think that Seton Hall is live to get revenge.  If it weren’t for an implosion last game for Seton Hall up 10 in the last few minutes, I think this line would be right around a possession but given the outcome, I will gladly take two possessions with Seton Hall.

1 unit – Kansas Tennessee under 130.5

Kansas has been anemic on offense (to put it light) the last few games. Tennessee, on the other hand, has been every bit as inefficient as Kansas offensively and with neither team running a fast clip, it leads me to the under. In a game with this magnitude that could go a long way in determining seeding for the NCAA tournament, I fully believe we will see a defensive slugfest. With the 2nd and 11th ranked defenses, and with paces at 303 and 207 in the country, points will be at a premium in Knoxville.

1 unit – Georgia +3.5

Hold your nose here.  Liked Georgia a lot last game at South Carolina and they turned out to be one of my worst plays in a while.  With 10 minutes left in the game, it seemed as if they had already quit before they proceeded to get blown out by 25.  Last time these two teams faced, we saw a similar situation.  Georgia had been waxed by Auburn and were 7.5 point underdogs at Ole Miss, winning outright by 4.  Though I am not high on Georgia or Ole Miss, I think that anything over 3.5 is too many points.  Tom Creen will have his guys ready to go after a completely lackluster effort last game.

1 unit – Vandy +4

On the flip side of Georgia, we have Vandy.  Vandy showed me a lot last game.  Down 18 with 6 minutes to go, they easily could’ve folded like Georgia.  Rather, they chose to fight until the very end and made it a game against Florida (covering the 12.5).  South Carolina comes in riding high after that demolishing of Georgia, but I think Vandy will be hungry here to get their first conference win.  They found something in the waning minutes of that Florida game that could propel them and give them the confidence they need to win their first conference game.  Dores outright here – Scotty Pippen Jr goes for 30.

1 unit – Cal +10.5

Cal is 4-0 ATS their last 4 conference games and they get a huge bonus here as Bradley will be in his second game back.  Arizona has struggled as a favorite this season and I don’t expect that to change here.  Similarly to the Clemson handicap earlier, I think if you like Cal you also like this under.  Cal has been horrible offensively this year and they stay in this game it will be because of their defense.  Good news too is that during PAC 12 play, Cal’s opponents have shot 42% from 3 while the league average is 35%, so hopefully we see this regress back to the mean this game.

1 unit – Butler +2

This is more a play against Xavier than it is on Butler. Xavier hasn’t played since Jan. 10 and teams with 14+ days off are just 42% ATS (46-62-3). Plus, the signs were there before the COVID layoff that Xavier wasn’t as good as their record indicated. They had lost 2 of 4 but easily could’ve been 1-3 in those games. With Butler you know you can count on their defense to show up, but their offense is a mystery. If Butler can get any sort of showing from their offense I think it could be a long day for Xavier. Another angle I am looking to attack here is first half. I think the rust here for Xavier will show most in the first half if they are indeed rusty, so give me Butler +2 full game and first half on the moneyline.

Go ahead and follow us @TheSharpSidePod for more smaller conference picks, 2H plays, and more!

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