Today is the first day of Degenerate Christmas. Time to forego your child support payments and punch those tickets. Today is one of the most joyous occasions of the year, why not ruin it with frivolous wagering?
After another 2-0 performance from your boy yesterday, I’d expect an absolute bedshiiter today. My confidence level in today’s picks is hovering around 28%. Don’t smoke and don’t gamble, kids.
Bankroll: ↑ $159.08 🙂
• • • • •
Dayton (+6) vs. Ohio State
First game on the slate is the Battle of Ohio. Ohio State struggles to score, Dayton can’t stop anybody on defense. UD certainly has a chance to win this one straight-up and I don’t think OSU has enough firepower to blow this fucker out. Gem City has everything to gain and the Bucks certainly don’t want to lose to little brother. Flyers cover.
American vs. Wisconsin (-13.5)
I know people get turned off any time the Badgers are double-digit favorites. But, this isn’t your father’s Wisconsin. The Badgers averaged around 74 points per game this season, a major departure from their style this past decade. Ironically, American runs a deliberate slow-down offensive system, which is why this spread isn’t higher. Teams like AU keep these games close by hitting from the three-point line, an area Bo Ryan will likely emphasize. I don’t see American getting many second-chance opportunities and Frank Kaminsky is an absolute matchup nightmare for American. There’s not even a slight chance I watch a second of this game.
Pittsburgh vs. Colorado (+6.5)
Two teams with questionable credentials. 18 of Pittsburgh’s 25 wins came against teams that were +100 RPI squads. Coach K basically talked the committee into getting NC State into the field, not sure what their excuse is in regards to Pitt. Colorado won’t cause your pants to tent, but they do have some solid victories under their hemp belts — Kansas, Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon, and Stanford to name a few. This isn’t so much about Colorado as is it about Pitt. I’m a black man around cops when it comes to the Panthers, don’t trust ’em.
Harvard vs. Cincinnati (-3)
People seem to be going apeshit over Harvard, I’ve seen plenty of brackets that have the Crimson advancing past the Bearcats. I’m not buying it for a second. Harvard’s best win this season? Wisconsin-Green Bay. Fuck outta here. This line is so out of wack that it concerns me, like I’m out of the loop and Sean Kilpatrick isn’t going to play or something. I don’t see how Harvard keeps this one close. If you are going to wager on any game today, make it this one. I reserve the right to be embarrassingly wrong about this pick.
Western Michigan vs. Syracuse (-13)
I’m essentially counting on the Cuse zone to completely baffle Western Michigan. My chief concern is whether or not the Orange can score enough to cover a thirteen point spread. I think the fact that this game is in Buffalo, will be played in front of plenty of Syracuse fans, is the deciding factor. WMU never figures out the Cuse zone and Jim Boeheim never leaves his seat.
BYU (+5.5) vs. Oregon
Probably going to regret this pick, but I’m taking the Mormons anyway. Oregon beat Zona earlier this year, which means the length of BYU likely won’t be as much of a factor as I want it to be. We have a previous matchup to work off of though, as BYU went up to Eugene earlier this season and lost by four to the Ducks, 100-96. Tyler Haws is an absolute stud, he scored 32 points in that matchup. I’m counting on him doling out some punishment today.
Albany vs. Florida (-22)
Not many teams are chugging along quite as fluidly as the Mighty Gators. Having seen the Great Danes twice now, I think we should get prepared for the tourney’s first major blowout. Florida is my pick to cut down the nets this season, I think they absolutely pinksock Albany today.
Delaware (+14.5) vs. Michigan State
Michigan State won the Big Ten championship and Tom Izzo is the coach I would hire to lead my team in the NCAA tournament. The Spartans have the verifieds and the platitudes. But, like an experienced lover, Sparty likes to take things slow. The margin might hover around 20 in favor of the Spartans for a chunk of the game, but Delaware is good enough to hang around and make it respectable. Taking UD here.
Saint Joseph’s (+5.5) vs. Connecticut
Halil Kanacevic isn’t gonna let me down. Case closed, like printing money.
Wofford (+15.5) vs. Michigan
Wofford has been in the tournament three of the last four years, these kids are experienced and know what to expect. Michigan has been kinda sporadic this year, playing down to its competition. Michigan wins but the Terriers won’t be intimidated. Take the points.
NC State vs. Saint Louis (-2.5)
The Wolfpack came out and cruised to a fairly impressive victory over the Overlords, and now everyone wants to crown their ass. Not buying it. A win over a middling New Big East team means nothing to me. There’s a reason the Pack was in the play-in game. SLU has been struggling, but I think they matchup well with NC State. I’ll take our conference brethren to cover here.
North Dakota State vs. Oklahoma (-3)
I heard too many people calling for the ND State upset. Give me the Dustbowlers, Boomer Sooner and all of that shit. I’m waiting until the last second to lock this one in, could see the line drop a bit before the game tips off.
Milwaukee (+16.5) vs. Villanova
Nova is a solid team, but not great (by the way, has any pair of #1 and #2 seeds received less respect than UVA and Nova this year?). Nova’s gonna win this one, but I think Milwaukee can keep it somewhat respectable. My one concern is that Nova is underrated defensively — not sure if the Panthers score enough to cover. A coin flip says they do.
Arizona State (+2.5) vs. Texas
Know absolutely NOTHING about either team. One major factor: Rick Barnes coaches Texas. Give me the Sun Devils and the points.
Manhattan (+17) vs. Louisville
Going with the “take it easy on the protege” angle here. Jasper head coach Steve Masiello coached with and played for Pitino. Although it’s unlikely that the Louisville players give a shit about that, Rick might take the foot off the gas a bit if a blowout seems certain. I’ve seen Manhattan play a lot this year. George Beamon could play just about anywhere, Rhamel Brown is a solid player inside and Michael Alvardo is a solid enough guard to handle the ‘Ville’s pressure. Manhattan won’t win, but they will hang around late enough to cover this line.
New Mexico State vs. San Diego State (-7)
I’m once again basically just shitting on a conference here. New Mexico State plays in what’s left of the WAC (seriously, go check out that conference, didn’t it used to be respectable?) and San Diego State has been a top 10 quality team all season long. Really like the Aztecs here.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.