Colorado Short-Handed & Will Not Cover vs. South Dakota State

Mark Lathrop

Friday, December 15, 2017 1:12 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 1:12 PM UTC

Our NCAAB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, spots a trend due to injury that has led to wagering value on Friday evening. Read on as he looks to a road underdog to pull of the upset as he makes his pick.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 16-7 (+8.55 Units)

Free NCAAB Pick: SDSU +3.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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South Dakota State Jackrabbits at Colorado Buffaloes

The Jackrabbits of the Summit League continue their impressive non-conference schedule on Friday evening by making a trip to Colorado of the Pac-12 conference. South Dakota State is 9-4 SU on the season and has played 3 more games than the Buffaloes, who are 7-3 SU. I recently had handicapped a game choosing San Diego of the WCC to cover a 9-point spread against Colorado in a game Tuesday, and Colorado went on to lose that by double digits. Surprisingly, this has not affected the betting markets much in my opinion, and the Buffaloes have been placed as 3.5-point favorites against the Jackrabbits at books such as BetOnline.

Colorado has not been the same team after the injury to 6-foot-9 senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart. He’ll miss the rest of the season with a foot injury, and since he went down the Buffaloes have gone from a 6-0 team to 7-3 by losing three of their last four games SU. One of those losses was explainable to ranked Xavier, but the other two were to 178th ranked Colorado State and 123rd ranked San Diego in rankings. South Dakota State comes into this game ranked 103rd, for reference. When playing in the first 6 games, Miller-Stewart averaged 22 minutes per game and was one of Colorado’s top rebounders. For Colorado, this means that even more of the burden has been placed on its leading scorer, true freshman 6’ 0” guard, McKinley Wright IV. Wright averages 15.3 points per game with 5.1 rebounds.

The Jackrabbits have a leading scorer 4 years Wright’s senior, in 6’ 9” forward Mike Daum. Daum averages an even 20 points per game and throws in 7.5 rebounds as well over 30 minutes. This is actually a step down from his stats last season, when he averaged 24.9 points per game, but those stats will likely start creeping up when Summit League Conference play begins. He’s played well against major conference foes, though, and put up 31 points against Wichita State, 26 against Mississippi and 21 against Kansas. After Daum, the Jackrabbits employ a 9-man rotation, which could overwhelm the thin rotation of Colorado with their man defense.

That deep rotation also has me thinking that the home-court advantage of Colorado will be a little overrated in this matchup. Add to this that the Buffaloes have found themselves to be untrustworthy since Miller-Stewart went out with injury, and I’ve got a decision to back the South Dakota State Jackrabbits as an underdog as my Friday NCAAB pick.

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