SYRACUSE @ LOUISVILLE OVER 146
Louisville will play host to Syracuse tonight in what has all the sudden become a very important game for them in NCAA basketball. After winning 10 straight games, the Cardinals have dropped their last two and are desperately seeking a win as they try to get back into 2-seed territory.
While I expect Louisville to come out and get the win in this one, the play I am leaning towards is the over. These two teams can put up points. The over is a combined 30-19-2 in their games this season; I can get down with those odds.
The stat that really sold me was one from Syracuse. The over is an undefeated 9-0 in their nine road games this NCAA basketball season. One of the main reasons for this is their defense – they let up a full 10 points more per game when playing on the road.
I expect Louisville to come out strong in this one, coming off back-to-back losses, leaving Syracuse to play catch-up and chuck it up a bit. The Orange rank 46th in the nation in three-point field goals attempted with 25.2 per game, and I think they will be launching above their average tonight.
Here are a few other trends that I like. The over is 4-0-1 in Syracuse’s last five games, and 7-2-1 in their last ten. The over is 7-3 in Louisville’s last ten games. Sometimes you just need to ride the hot hand, and I’m happy to do that in this one. I’m confident that Louisville can do their part in this one. Fingers crossed that Syracuse can extend that away under streak to an even ten in a row.
THE PICK: OVER 146
Our second pick of the night takes us to Tuscaloosa. I had Alabama as one of my plays a few days ago when I picked their game against LSU to go over. This time, we are looking to the Crimson Tide to cover the spread. They cashed for us the first time, let’s hope they can do it again.
Without beating around the bush, this game is a must-win for Alabama. They are currently listed as one of the First Four Out in Joe Lunardi’s latest version of Bracketology for the NCAA basketball tournament in March. Every game from here on out matters for them, and they can’t afford to slip up.
They are playing host to a very mediocre and beatable Texas A&M team tonight. There are a few things I like about this matchup. First, Alabama is a much better team at home. They are 9-3 straight up at home and 8-4 against the spread. On the other hand, the Aggies are just 3-7 away from home straight up and 5-5 against the spread.
Next is Alabama’s record overall against the spread this season. They are 18-7 (72%), which is tied for 6th best in the country. At one point this season, they covered 12 straight spreads. They have also covered their past three.
They have been winning money for gamblers all season long, and I think they continue that trend tonight. Yes, they are laying a lot of points tonight, but given the importance of this game and the fact that it’s on their home floor, I think this one can turn into a rout.
THE PICK: ALABAMA -10.5 VS. TEXAS A&M