Published on Tuesday, 1/17/17, at 8:04 a.m. Eastern.
–As of early this morning, Texas was installed as a 14-point underdog for tonight’s 7:00 p.m. Eastern tip at Baylor on ESPN2. Shaka Smart’s team is 4-0 ATS when listed as an underdog of 8.5 points or more this season. The Bears are 1-2 ATS as double-digit favorites.
–N.C. St. and Pitt are set to collide tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU. Both teams are off embarrassing performances Saturday, and both have lost three in a row and four of their last five. Mark Gottfried’s squad lost 86-76 Saturday to Ga. Tech as a 9.5-point home favorite, while Kevin Stallings’s club went down at home to Miami by a 72-46 count.
–Michigan was an 11-point underdog at Wisconsin early this morning. These Big Ten rivals will square off tonight in Madison at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. The Wolverines have failed to cover the spread in six consecutive games. They’re 0-4 both SU and ATS in four road assignments this year. The ‘over’ has hit in nine straight games for Michigan. Wisconsin is unbeaten in 10 home games with a 6-1 spread record. The Badgers have won four in a row and six of the last seven over the Wolverines.
–Creighton picked up another solid win at Xavier on Monday, capturing a 72-67 win as a three-point road underdog. However, it was a bittersweet victory because Bluejays’ senior point guard Mo Watson Jr. went down with a knee injury. Initial reports indicate that Watson, the nation’s assists leader, didn’t sustain any ligament damage. However, head coach Greg McDermott said “it might be a meniscus.” We should know more later today, but you would think Watson is going to miss a few weeks, if not longer. He’s averaging 12.9 points and 8.4 assists while draining 46.9 percent of his launches from downtown.
It’s been a fun ride. really devastated but it’s about the get back & my chase to my dreams and back on the court starts now! #jays pic.twitter.com/TssBFgyUmT
— Maurice Watson Jr. (@mauricewatsonjr) January 17, 2017
–Boise St. saw its seven-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Fresno St. when it lost 89-80 in a pick ’em matchup. The Broncos, who are still 9-3 ATS in their last 12 outings, return to the court tonight when they take on New Mexico at Taco Bell Arena. Leon Rice’s team is unbeaten in seven home games with a 4-1 spread record. BSU has seen the ‘over’ hit in four of its last five contests. The Broncos were listed as six-point home ‘chalk’ early this morning.
–Mississippi St. has won three in a row and six of its last seven. Ben Howland’s team, which is composed of nothing but freshmen and sophomore with the exception of one junior walk-on, will welcome John Calipari’s Kentucky squad to The Hump in Starkville tonight for a 7:00 p.m. Eastern tip on ESPN. The Wildcats were 13-point road favorites early this a.m. The Bulldogs have won outright in their only three games as underdogs.
–Ohio’s Antonio Campbell (foot) is ‘out’ tonight at Akron. Campbell averages 16.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
–Ole Miss’s Deandre Burnett (ankle) is ‘doubtful’ for tonight’s home game vs. Tennessee. Burnett is averaging a team-high 18.0 PPG. The Rebels are 2.5-point home underdogs vs. Rick Barnes’s squad.
–Louisville will be without its second-leading scorer and assist leader for the next 2-3 weeks. Junior guard Quentin Snider suffered a strained hip flexor in the second half of Saturday’s home win over Duke. Snider remained in the game and produced 13 points, six assists and five rebounds. He’s averaging 12.1 points and 4.0 assists per game.
–Nebraska sophomore forward Ed Morrow was injured in a home loss to Northwestern two Sundays ago. Morrow will miss an indefinite period of time with the foot injury. He was averaging 10.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game while making a team-best 55.4 percent of his shots from the field.
–The two best games on Wednesday’s card: Florida at South Carolina on The SEC Network at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and Notre Dame at FSU on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Speaking of UF at South Carolina, Chris Harry has all the pregame notes you need to handicap this contest.
–The Gamecocks are undefeated in the 11 games they’ve played with star Sindarius Thornwell in uniform (and not suspended).
–The nation’s best ATS teams are South Dakota (14-3-1), Gonzaga (12-2), Creighton (13-4), San Diego (11-3), Butler (12-5), Middle Tennessee (12-5) and Fresno St. (10-3).
–The country’s worst ATS teams: South Dakota St. (3-13-1), Long Beach St. (3-12), UTEP (2-10), No. Iowa (4-12), Pacific (4-12) and DePaul (5-13).
—There was all sorts of fun in Ft. Collins before, during and after Saturday’s Mtn. West struggle between New Mexico and Colorado St.
–Despite a brutal five-game losing streak, my college hoops picks are still cashing at a 37-25 clip (60%, +9.9 UNITS) for the season. I have these plays going tonight.
–Georgia didn’t make my pick package as a five-point home favorite vs. Vanderbilt. However, I got a small taste of J.J. Frazier, Yante Maten and Co. as 2.5-point favorites for first-half bets.