We have a very uneventful slate of NCAA Basketball games on Monday as Christmas approaches, but in the betting world, it’s still another opportunity to make some money and possibly provide extra present money. Time to make the picks.
Taking North Arizona Lightly?
Arizona head coach, Sean Miller, has expressed his intentions of possibly not playing center Kaleb Tarczewski as Tarczewski is currently suffering from a knee injury and Arizona’s next game won’t be until January 2nd in the Pac-12 opener against Washington State. As a 28 point betting problem for the top team in the nation, winning the game won’t be a problem, but are the Wildcats overlooking this game a bit and is this something that we should take into account when making our college basketball picks?
Arizona has outrebounded their opponents by a +14.2 ratio. Without their 7-footer, this can change the complexion of the game and the degree of the beating that they will most likely administer to North Arizona.
How Bad Are They?
The Lumberjacks have lost their last 4 game to top 25 teams by an average of 40.2 points. Leading scorer, Max Jacobsen (14.8 ppg.) was the hero for the Lumberjacks against Grand Canyon after he hit the go ahead shot to give North Arizona a much needed win, 63-61. The Lumberjacks have had time to rest; 9 days to be exact. When it comes to talent, this team isn’t in the same stratosphere as Arizona. This could get ugly.
The highly touted freshman has been getting his offensive game in gear and just in time for inter-conference play. Gordon is shooting 15 of 22 from the field in his last 2 games and is averaging 17.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game over that period of time. This is a “Cat” that can serve many different purposes on the court and a huge reason why Arizona is number 1 in the nation. Even with the substitutes coming in early, look for ‘Zona to put a beating on this 2nd rate basketball squad.
College Basketball Pick: Arizona -28 at Bet 365
Hofstra (3-6) vs. Siena (3-8)
I thought that I’d flip the script and go a little MAAC on the betting public as any team is fair game. Siena is rarely the favorite in any contest, but against the Hofstra Pride, the Saints are a 6.5 point betting favorite across the board (SBRodds.com). You have to hand it to the Saints as they’ve faced to top rated teams in Purdue and Memphis. Both games were losses, but Siena made Purdue sweat it out.
That said, this is a Siena team which has lost 5 out of its last 6 games. They face a Hofstra team which hasn’t done much better, but the Pride were prideful in their last game, a 72-67 victory over Central Connecticut State.
In a league like this, unless a team is really bad like Northeastern or James Madison, the home team is usually a moderate betting favorite.
Siena is a very poor shooting team, but in their most recent loss, leading rebounder Brett Bisping, kept the Saints in the game as he delivered 17 points and 9 rebounds on 7 for 11 shooting from the field. Look for Bisping to carry that momentum over to this game along with leading scorer, Rob Poole (14.4 ppg., 6 rpg.) Poole was a non-factor in the loss to Canisius as he didn’t look for his shot. I expect him to be more involved in the offense against a relatively weak Pride squad.
Finding A Home With Hofstra
You will see many transfers excel with other universities, but senior, Zeke Upshaw, has been off the chart ever since his move from Illinois State to Hofstra. Upshaw turned himself from a 2 point per game scorer to a 20 point per game scorer with the Pride. Look for Upshaw to be a major factor in this game. He’ll put up close to 20 shots and his mere presence on the court, will keep Hofstra in this game.
Take the Pride and the points as both teams are equally ineffective.
College Basketball Pick: Hofstra +6.5 at Bet 365