Mega Mid-Week Picks Part I (Nov. 9th)
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
As we roll into the second week of November, I would like to do a very special edition of mid-week picks. The college basketball season is kicking off and I'm hyped up. So to celebrate the return of NCAAM, I will be giving you a massive load of picks over the next few days. Last week I only managed a 2-7 record (14-15 YTD), rather indicative of a poor week across the board. I'm confident I will rebound this week and deliver a high winning percentage. This will be a three part-series as NCAAM spreads are slow to come out. Here are the 21 (Yes, 21) best bets for Tuesday.
Mt. St. Mary's @ Villanova:
The Pick: OVER 131.5
Last season Villanova games combined for more than 131 points in all but four regular-season games (21 games). Once again, Jay Wright will have a potent offense this year and should be able to score enough to hit the over in this one. Look for the actual total to fall closer to 140 points.
Akron @ Ohio State
The Pick: OSU -16.5
I like spreads that are less than 20 points when a ranked team meets a non-ranked, small conference team at home. This game fits the bill. EJ Liddell returns for the Buckeyes and he will be a force to contend with this year. After the ugly upset in March Madness last year, Ohio State will be playing with fire to start the year.
CCSU @ Connecticut
The Pick: UNDER 143.5
Defense is a staple of a Dan Hurley coached team. Defensive ideology carries from one year to the next with relative ease, just look at Virginia. A solid defense is expected to be the calling card of the Huskies this year. Last year, the matchup between these two teams was a 102-75 shootout. Expect a much smaller total for the matchup this year.
Kansas @ Michigan State
The Pick: MSU +4.5
While there is the opportunity for betting success in the early season, it is difficult to predict games that are projected to be blowouts time after time. I much prefer picking games with smaller spreads and teams with semi-equivalent talent levels. Here we have the first marquee matchup of the 2021-2022 season. Michigan State is not ranked, but Coach Izzo always fields a competitive program. Kansas on the other hand is the third-ranked team in the country. Kansas could win this game with ease, but I am feeling the upset here. Kansas is missing their leading rebounder, Jalen Wilson, and will likely miss his presence in this one. Go with Sparty.
Texas Southern @ Oregon
The Pick: OVER 151
Every year, Oregon seems to field a group of ultra-athletic guys with a penchant for scoring in bunches. Sure the Ducks lost a few pieces to the draft, but Dana Altman's team is looking solid once again. Texas Southern lacks any semblance of defense and can be scored on at will. I like the over to hit in this one.
UMKC @ Minnesota
The Pick: MINN -8
Minnesota has a new coach at the helm this year and lost the majority of last year's roster to transfers. However, I don't think we should commit the Gophers to have a bad year yet. New coach Ben Johnson is from the Xavier tree, a program that has been largely successful over the last few years even with talent shortcomings. Minnesota will start the season 1-0 with a win over lowly UMKC.
Belmont @ Ohio
The Pick: BELM -3.5
Belmont has been one of the best mid-major teams in college basketball for a few years now. The offense has been strong and the program is well-coached. It will be a tall task to nab a win on the road in Ohio, but I don't think the Bruins will let me down.
Navy @ Virginia
The Pick: UNDER 125
When Virginia plays, you pick the under. That is the order of things. Navy lacks offensive firepower and will struggle to score, further aiding the case for the under.
LA. Tech @ Alabama
The Pick: ALA -11.5
I love what Nate Oats has done in Tuscaloosa, he has turned a middling program into a national powerhouse (as if Alabama needed more national powerhouse sports programs). This team has the potential to do great things this year. The Crimson Tide will roll in this one.
Houston Baptist @ Texas
The Pick: TEX -34.5
Texas is one of the rare college superteams (or at least I think they will be). Texas already had a solid program, but then they went out and got one of the best coaches in the sport (Chris Beard) and loaded up with a ton of talent via the transfer portal. It may take time for the Longhorns to put things together, but I expect them to shellack Houston Baptist on Tuesday.
Dixie State @ Gonzaga
The Picks: GONZ -40
If Gonzaga is playing, I am gonna pick them. That's just the way it is. Last year, Gonzaga crushed Dixie State by 45 and I expect them to do it again. Gonzaga's offense also looks like it will be just as prolific if not more prolific this year. Go with the Zags and the over, then sit back and watch the show.
Bradley @ South Dakota State
The Picks: SDST -11
Here is another one of my go-to teams. The Jackrabbits have been good to me through the years. The offense is strong and many of the starters from last year are returning this year. The Jackrabbits will kick off the campaign with an offensively-fueled win at home.
Kentucky @ Duke
The Pick: DUKE -1
Ahhh the best matchup of the night, two top ten teams duking (ha) it out for early in the year for brownie points. Both teams have a ton of young talent, but the Blue Devils may have the best in the nation with Paolo Banchero (It's a hell of a lot of fun to say that name). It will be a closely contested matchup, but the Blue Devils will eek it out in the end. Side note, Duke has won eight of the last ten matchups against the Wildcats.
Oral Roberts @ Colorado State
The Pick: ORU +11.5
Last year, Oral Roberts pulled off a massive upset in the Big Dance. They become an instant favorite of America overnight when they took down the hated Buckeyes. I think they will put together a great year this season, especially since Max Abmas is coming back. This team is too good and has too much heart to lose by double digits to Colorado State.
Cal-Baker @ UCLA
The Pick: UCLA -20.5
UCLA has the talent to win a championship. Mick Cronin has nearly the exact same team he had last year and is no doubt salivating at their prospects for the campaign. Cal-Baker is a nobody and will not be able to withstand the might of Johnny Juzang and company.
Kings @ Canadiens
The Pick: LA +115
Whew, that does it for college basketball picks. Let's get on with a few NHL ones. The Kings are on a roll right now, as they have won five games in a row. The goaltending has been great as they are surrendering less than two goals per game during this stretch. Now, Los Angeles will face a Montreal team that got crushed 5-2 the last time these teams faced off. the Kings are too hot to be stopped right now and will win their sixth in a row come Tuesday.
Hurricanes @ Lightning
The Pick: TB -130
Here's a big boy matchup between the powerhouses of the Atlantic and Metropolitan. The Hurricanes just lost their first game of the season after starting 9-0-0. Tampa is riding high, having won four out of five games. When teams are so evenly matched like these two, I look at the goaltending matchup. Frederik Anderson of Carolina has had a great year, but I trust Vasilevskiy more. The Lightning will scrape by the Hurricanes in this one.
Penguins @ Blackhawks
The Pick: PIT -115
Ummmm, aren't the Blackhawks a dumpster fire? Why are the Penguins only slight favorites? These are good questions with no great answer. I have no reason to believe that the Penguins can't win this game. Trust Pittsburgh to add to the misery of Chicago.
Kraken @ Golden Knights
The Pick: VGK -135
The more I watch the Kraken, the more I realize how bad they are. For god's sake, Seattle just gave Arizona their first win of the season. On the other hand, my faith in the Golden Knights has been well documented, and once again it will be put to the test. I am picking Vegas to win this game, they have a superior goalie and a more potent offense.