As we browse through Wednesday’s slate of NCAA Basketball games, two games stand out in which we look to profit and set ourselves up as the week progresses.
American U. (1-1) at #8 Ohio State (3-0)
With so many top 25 teams playing smaller schools, you rarely find competitive games early in the season and that’s the case for this matchup as the Buckeyes are a 26 point betting favorite.
I mentioned in yesterday’s Arizona vs. Rhode Island game that although Rhode Island has an improved team led by a good coach and that they’re not in the same class as an Arizona and sure enough after the game, coach Hurley said that he never played a team like Arizona on the collegiate level before.
One of the Top Defenses In the Nation
Ohio State is actually one of the top 25 teams that has actually played a top level team in Marquette, and the Buckeyes defense defeated the #17 Golden Eagles in a 52-35 victory. Talk about being embarrassed in front of your home crowd; Ohio State held Marquette to just 10 field goals total and 18.9% from the field. The Golden Eagles also made just 1 3-pointer out of 18 attempts and committed 20 turnovers.
Ohio State didn’t shoot the lights out, but didn’t need to as Aaron Craft led the way with a near triple-double of 10 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. OSU has held their first 3 opponents to an average of 51.3 points per game and that’s exactly what they allowed last season also as one of the top-rated defenses in the country; this could get ugly.
American University comes into this game averaging 57.8 points per game and although they’re coming into this game after a 63-61 victory over the UMBC Retrievers, they can’t feel too confident. American shot just 36.4% from the field and defeated UMBC with 1.6 seconds in overtime on Jesse Reed’s only basket of the game. American will look for 5 foot 9 junior guard, Darius Gardner, to carry the offense. Gardner has accounted for nearly 1/3 of American’s points. Will it be enough is the question?
Ohio State’s defense is dominant. We could see records in this game from an Ohio State standpoint, and that makes them attractive enough to be our NCAA basketball pick.
Pick- Ohio State -26
Wichita State is coming off of an 85-71 victory over Tennessee State. Once again, the Shockers were held in check in the 1st half as they actually trailed this game by a point and then took over in the 2nd 20 minute session. This is not a great way to win games, but their record speaks for itself.
Depth and Defense
The Shockers have 4 solid double figure scorers and are led by senior forward Cleanthony Early (15.5 ppg., 7 rpg.). Early is consistent and has a possible chance to take his game to the next level. Wichita State is a team that has role players such as Nick Wiggins, Chadrack Lufile, and Darius Carter that make the most of their limited minutes on the court. This team is very deep and that helps on the defensive end.
Tulsa comes into this game not nearly as deep as Wichita State, but with two standout stars in leading scorers Shaquille Harrison (19.5 ppg. ,2.5 spg., 55.2 FG%) and Rashad Smith (19 ppg. ,4.5 rpg., 2 spg, and 76.5 FG%). The Hurricanes have played in a couple of tight games, but haven’t been able to seal the deal and it only gets tougher from here. Lack of a reliable 3rd option offensively and inconsistency on the defensive end haven’t helped their cause.
Pick- Wichita State -6.5 at Bet 365