High/Low Picks For Tuesday, February 7

Matthew Jordan

Monday, February 6, 2017 8:09 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 8:09 PM UTC

The biggest spread on the opening NCAA basketball board for Tuesday is an SEC matchup between Georgia and suddenly struggling Kentucky in Lexington, while the smallest spread is a MAC game between Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio). Here are my picks. 

LSU At No. 15 Kentucky (-23.5)

So much for UK rolling to the SEC title and perhaps not losing a game in the country’s weakest Power 5 league overall. The Cats are down to No. 15 in the new AP poll following a third loss in their past four games Saturday, an 88-66 wipeout at then-No. 24 Florida. It was Kentucky’s first loss by at least 20 points since an 88-58 blowout at Tennessee on Feb. 16, 2013. Devoted Wildcats fans might remember that was the game after former UK star Nerlens Noel tore his ACL. It was the fourth game in a row this year that Kentucky trailed by double digits. It was also outrebounded a whopping 54-29 by the Gators, who aren’t even a great rebounding squad. The minus-25 rebounding margin was the worst of the John Calipari era. UK also scored a season-low 26 first-half points, and its season-low half total has decreased each of the last three games. Something is amiss here. Yet UK is still the +800 co-favorite on NCAA basketball odds to win the national championship with unbeaten Gonzaga. Incidentally, Calipari said he has disciplined star freshman Malik Monk for smiling on the bench late in that loss. Kentucky now trails South Carolina by a game for the SEC lead.

LSU shouldn’t give Kentucky too much trouble as the Tigers are a mess at 9-13 overall and 1-9 in the SEC with an eight-game losing streak following an 85-73 home defeat to Texas A&M on Saturday. Leading scorer Antonio Blakeney had just seven points, his third in the past four in single digits. His scoring average has fallen from 17.5 to 15.6 points in the last seven games. The Tigers’ only conference win was against the only school worse than LSU: Missouri. In the past three games, LSU has led for only a few minutes total. It has dropped the past five all by double-digits. It would be a minor miracle for Coach Johnny Jones to keep his job after this season.

LSU has just won five times ever in Lexington, the last time coming late in 2009. The Tigers are 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings overall, though.

NCAAB Free Pick: LSU +23.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Western Michigan At Miami Of Ohio (+1)

Not exactly the best matchup on Tuesday’s schedule as WMU is 7-15 overall and last in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division at 3-7, and Miami is 9-14 and last in the MAC East with a 2-8 conference mark. WMU comes off an 86-82 loss at rival Central Michigan on Friday. Marcus Keene, the nation's leading scorer, scored 35 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with three seconds left for the Chippewas. Western Michigan led 53-40 at halftime and by as many as 18 in the game. It was still up 79-69 with 5:20 left to go, but its next six possessions resulted in three straight turnovers followed by three missed shots. Thomas Wilder led Western Michigan with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He’s the team’s leading scorer at 18.4 ppg. The Broncos are an OK offensive club but allow 79.7 ppg, which is 319th nationally.

Miami has lost three in a row and eight of nine following a 66-62 home defeat to Kent State on Saturday. The RedHawks were down 15 midway through the second half but briefly led late before KSU retook control. Junior forward Logan McLane had 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to lead Miami, which shot only 37.7 percent from the field. The RedHawks average 72.7 points this season compared to 63.6 a year ago. But they allow 75.3 ppg. Miami might have a bright future behind freshman brothers Michael and Marcus Weathers. Michael averages 17.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds, while Marcus is at 9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. There are 17 pairs of brothers playing NCAA Division I men’s basketball this season. The Weathers’ combined average of 26.7 points is second among them.

This is the only scheduled meeting between WMU and Miami (Ohio). The RedHawks are 6-1-1 ATS in their past eight this year and WMU is 4-11 ATAS in its past 15 on Tuesday.

NCAAB Free Pick: Miami (Ohio) +1Best Line Offered: Heritage

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