UTEP Miners vs. Kansas Jayhawks
These two teams will battle it out for third place in the Battle 4 Atlantis this evening. The college basketball odds board shows Kansas favored by as many as 12 points.
The Jayhawks (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) were stunned by Villanova in yesterday's semi-final, while the Miners (4-3 SU, 2-1 ATS) had no chance in their last four loss to Iowa.
Kansas came in favored by 4.5 points but fell short against the Wildcats. They lost the rebounding battle and shot only 39.6 percent from the field overall. Andrew Wiggins, Perry Ellis, Joel Embiid and Frank Mason all scored in double figures but no one scored more than 12 points in the loss.
You'd have to think the Jayhawks, who average 82.3 PPG, will fare better offensively against a Miners team that's allowing 70.1 PPG so far this season.
UTEP was embarrassed yesterday. They were out-scored 47-22 in the first half and ended up losing 89-53 in the semis. Iowa had almost twice as many rebounds as the Miners, who hit on only 34.6 percent from the field.
We expect the Miners to come up with a much better showing tonight, but they're still running into a wounded Kansas team that will want to come out and prove something in the consolation matchup.
Bill Self has another extremely talented team at his disposal and it's not as if Villanova is a featherweight. Regardless, we look for the Jayhawks to come out and set the tone early on their way to a double-digit win over UTEP.
Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -12 for your NCAAB Picks.
Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks vs. UNLV Rebels
The Rebels will play host to the Skyhawks at the Thomas & Mack Center tonight and are favored by a hefty number. Tennessee-Martin is 2-7 SU and 1-3 ATS on the year, with UNLV at 2-3 SU and 1-3-1 ATS.
Despite losing Anthony Bennett, Anthony Marshall and Mike Moser, the Rebels have still returned a lot of talent, highlighted by the duo of Roscoe Smith and Khem Birch inside.
Smith has averaged 12.6 PPG (on 55.3 percent shooting) and 15.6 RPG so far, while Birch has been good for 10.6 PPG and 11.0 RPG. He's also already blocked 26 shots in five games heading into tonight.
UNLV also has experienced guards in the form of Kevin Olekaibe and Bryce Dejean-Jones, while young Kendall Smith has shown he can contribute as well.
Their results have been far from outstanding, but the Rebels have opened up the season with a pretty demanding schedule. They've already played the likes of Illinois and Arizona State, both of whom are likely to be ranked at some point in the near future.
UNLV has been off for a few days after that tough two-point loss to the Fighting Illini and they're likely to come out fired up against Tennessee-Martin.
Six of the Skyhawks' seven losses have come by double digits. We expect a dominant show from the Rebels from start to finish, as their talent should prove too much for the visitors to handle. It's never easy laying this kind of number, but we think UNLV is the play for our free pick.
Pick: UNLV Rebels -19.5[gameodds]14/251021/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]