Saturday’s Tip Sheet
Published on Jan. 20 at 5:21 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Saturday’s college hoops card is stacked with intriguing matchups, including a Big 12 showdown between a pair of top-five teams. That’s where we’ll start, as Baylor (17-1 straight up, 6-5 against the spread) is poised to host Missouri after losing its first game of the year at Kansas earlier this week.
Scott Drew’s team has been dynamite at home, compiling a 10-0 SU record while going 2-1 ATS. But the Bears were on the road Monday when they got smoked by a 92-74 count in Lawrence. The Jayhawks cruised to an easy win as 6 ½-point home favorites.
In the losing effort, Perry Jones III scored a team-high 18 points. Quincy Miller and Quincy Acy added 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Baylor has a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging in double figures. Miller leads the Bears in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
Since suffering its first loss at Kansas St. (75-59) on Jan. 7, Missouri (17-1 SU, 9-4 ATS) has won three in a row both SU and ATS, including Monday’s 70-51 win over Texas A&M as a 15-point home ‘chalk.’
Michael Dixon Jr. scored a game-high 18 points, draining 4-of-7 shots from 3-point range. Ricardo Ratliffe added 17 points and six rebounds, while Michael Denmon chipped in with 16 points and nine boards.
Denmon is averaging a team-high 17.8 points per game, while Kim English is scoring 14.6 PPG. English can stroke it from distance, as evidenced by his 51.7-percent shooting average from beyond the arc. Phil Pressey is the catalyst for the Tigers’ uptempo approach on both ends, averaging team-highs in assists (5.9 APG) and steals (2.1 per game).
The ‘over’ is 7-4 overall for Baylor, 2-1 in its home games. The Bears have seen the ‘over’ cash in each of their last four games. As for the Tigers, they have watched the ‘over’ go 7-6 overall, but the ‘under’ is on a 4-1 run in their last five outings.
Missouri has won three of the last four head-to-head meetings against Baylor, going 4-0 ATS in the process. The ‘under’ has cash in the last three encounters.
Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Since losing its ACC opener at Clemson, Florida State (12-6 SU, 9-7 ATS) has ripped off three consecutive victories both SU and ATS. After thumping North Carolina 90-57 last Saturday, the Seminoles were in a classic letdown situation when they hosted Maryland on Tuesday.
Leonard Hamilton’s team did not fall victim to the flat spot, however, winning and covering in an 84-70 triumph over the Terrapins as an 11-point home favorite. Michael Snaer led the way with 19 points, while Ian Miller and Bernard James added 18 and 17 points, respectively.
FSU will hit the road Saturday to face Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham. Most books are listing the Blue Devils as expensive home favorites.
Duke (16-2 SU, 7-11 ATS) has won four consecutive games since losing at Temple, but the Blue Devils are an abysmal 1-5 ATS in their last six outings. They failed to take the cash in Thursday’s 91-73 win over Wake Forest as 21 ½-point home favorites.
Andre Dawkins scored a game-high 21 points, hitting 7-of-12 attempts from 3-point land. Ryan Kelly produced a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman guard Austin Rivers also scored 20 points.
Mike Krzyzewski’s squad is unbeaten in nine home games with a 4-5 spread record. The ‘over’ is 12-6 overall for Duke, 6-3 in its home games.
FSU has lost three of its four true road games both SU and ATS. The ‘Noles are 1-2 both SU and ATS as road ‘dogs. They have seen the ‘over’ go 7-1 in their last eight games.
When these teams met in Tallahassee last year, FSU captured a 66-61 win as a seven-point home underdog. The 127 combined points easily fell ‘under’ the 139-point total.
ESPN will have the telecast at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.
The prime-time game on ESPN will come off the board at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, featuring a pair of Big East teams as Louisville (14-5 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) plays at slumping Pittsburgh.
Pitt (11-8 SU, 5-9 ATS) has lost seven in a row for the first time during Jamie Dixon’s tenure. However, we should point out that the Panthers have covered the number in back-to-back contests, including Monday’s 71-63 loss at top-ranked Syracuse as 13-point underdogs.
Cameron Wright, Ashton Gibbs and Lamar Patterson scored 10 points apiece in defeat at the Carrier Dome. The pedestrian Pitt offense should get a boost in this spot with the return of starting guard Tray Woodall, who averages 12.4 points and 7.5 assists per game. Woodall has missed five straight games with an injury.
Speaking of injuries, Rick Pitino is dealing with them in bunches. Starting senior guard Kyle Kuric (13.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG) has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain and is ‘doubtful’ at Pitt. Junior forward Rakeem Buckles was lost for the rest of the season (and next year) when he tore his ACL earlier this week. Buckles was averaging 4.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
U of L raced out to an 18-2 lead in the early going Monday at Marquette, but the Golden Eagles rallied to win 74-63 as 4 ½-point home favorites. Russ Smith scored a team-high 20 points and had four rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists for the Cardinals. Chris Smith added 19 points and eight rebounds.
Louisville has lost five of its last seven games and is just 2-4 in Big East play. Those losses include an embarrassing 90-59 beatdown at Providence.
The ‘under’ is 9-5 overall for Pitt, 4-2 in its home games. The Panthers have seen the ‘under’ cash at a 6-1 clip in their last seven outings.
The ‘under’ is 9-7 overall for U of L, but the ‘over’ is 3-1 in its last four contests.
These Big East adversaries have split the last four head-to-head meetings with three of those games going to overtime.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–Baylor-Mizzou is a sellout and will be the first top-five matchup in the history of the Ferrell Center.
–BetOnline opened Kentucky as an 11-point favorite for its noon Eastern showdown vs. Alabama at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats are an atrocious 1-13-1 ATS in their last 15 games. The Crimson Tide is facing a quick turnaround after losing at home to Vandy on Thursday night.
–Utah’s bad season got even worse this week when first-year head coach Larry Krystkowiak dismissed leading scorer Josh Watkins (15.6 PPG) from the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.
–Michigan steps out of Big Ten play Saturday and venture into SEC Country to face Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena. The Wolverines, fresh off their nail-biting win over arch-rival Michigan St. on Monday, are a pick ’em against the Razorbacks with a total of 138 (per BetOnline’s opening numbers).