7-1 start in college hoops!
Published on Saturday, 12/3/16, at 9:02 a.m. Eastern.
ATLANTA — I’m off to a solid start in college basketball this season. With my focus on football up until this past week, I’ve just been picking a few spots. I finally released multiple plays on consecutive nights this week, going 5-0 with yet another thunder ‘under’ on a Cincinnati game that still covered easily even though its game with Iowa St. went to overtime.
I’m still scanning the board looking for more plays right now, but I’ve decided on one early play that’s now available. I’ll be getting started on the Budweisers around noon en route to the Ga. Dome to watch my Gators take on Alabama. Therefore, if I haven’t posted more plays by noon, that’ll be it for today.
Here’s the side for UCLA at Kentucky as freshmen galore will shine at Rupp Arena today. Steve Alford’s Bruins have one of the premier freshmen in the nation in Lonzo Ball, who is averaging 14.4 points, 9.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Ball is a point guard, but he’s shooting 58% from the field! He has an amazing 77/18 assists-to-turnovers ratio.
I love Ball, who shares the backcourt with the coach’s son, Bryce Alford, a senior who is averaging 15.5 PPG and is draining 42% of his 3-balls.
UCLA is 8-0 and has covered the number in five straight. The ‘over’ hit in the Bruins’ first five games, but the ‘under’ has now cashed in three straight.
John Calipari’s club is loaded again. The roster is stacked with future NBA players, including a pair of future lottery picks in freshmen Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox.
Most spots opened Kentucky as a 9.5-point home favorite. As of early Saturday morning, the line was 10.5 and the total was 172.5 or 173. The Bruins were +500 on the money line (risk $100 to win $500).
I’ve decided to pass on a tempting play for me because of the travel situation. Boise St. is a three-point underdog at Evansville. I lean to the Broncos, who I backed as 5.5-point home ‘dogs in a win over SMU on Wednesday. However, Leon Rice’s squad lost a heartbreaker at Oregon on Monday in a game it led for 35 minutes. After giving two big-time efforts already this week, the travel to Indiana and an early tip is keeping me off of BSU.
Other early games of note include Wake Forest at Richmond (noon, ESPNU), Memphis at Ole Miss (1:00 p.m. Eastern, ESPN3), West Va. at UVA (2:00 ET., ESPNU), Stanford at Kansas (3:30 on ESPN) and Xavier at Baylor (3:30, ESPN2).
In other college basketball news, Michigan St. star freshman forward Miles Bridges is out for at least two weeks with an ankle injury. Bridges is averaging 16.6 point, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. The Spartans are off to a rough start due to a brutal schedule, but nobody should have any doubt that this tough non-conference slate will only make Tom Izzo’s team more dangerous (as always) come March.