UCLA (5-0) vs. Nevada (3-3)
Nevada gets a break as a 12 point underdog as they face the 19th ranked Bruins but have somewhat of a home court advantage as these teams play in the 1st round of the Las Vegas Invitational. Although UCLA has rushed out of the gate quickly undefeated making them a very appealing college basketball pick. You should note that they aslo haven’t played on the road yet this season, and tonight that will all change.
Sophomore guard Jordan Adams has exceeded expectations and the Bruins have to feel confident facing a Nevada team that’s coming off of a loss to Morehead State, 63-58, in their last game. Do the Wolf Pack have any chance of saving face and making this a game in their home state?
The Bruins might have the 5th leading scorer in the nation in Jordan Adams, but the Wolf Pack have their own unstoppable force in the form of senior Deonte Burton. Burton has been beasting and tonight he should be “feasting” off of the Bruins defense on this Thanksgiving Day.
Burton has shot 50% or more from the field in 5 out of Nevada’s 6 games this season. He’s clearly not a 3-point shooter, but this is a productive offensive player that can draw fouls and is a force on the defensive end. Burton has had 4 steals in each of his last 2 games. Look for this senior star to make a statement in Nevada’s biggest game of the season and in front of the home town fans.
It’s business as usual for the UCLA Bruins after embarrassing the Chattanooga Mocs 106-65. The Bruins shot the lights out at a healthy 62.9 % from the field led by Adams who was 8 for 10 from the field. Tony Parker and Kyle Anderson were both forces on the boards, reaching double digits while Anderson was just 3 assists shy of a triple double. Even though the Bruins have yet to play a road game, they’re hitting their peak and it should be a rude awakening for Nevada tonight.
Pick- UCLA -12 at Bet 365
#23 Iowa (5-0) at Xavier (5-0)
The Hawkeyes Are Back!
It’s the first time that Iowa has been in the top 25 in 7 years and Iowa looks to remain there as they duke it out with the Xavier Musketeers in the “Battle 4 Atlantis” Tournament.
Iowa and transfer Jarred Uthoff look to build upon an impressive 86-55 victory over Penn. The Iowa starters shot quite poorly in their last game, but Uthoff came to the rescue off the bench to shoot 6 of 7 from the field for 19 points in just 21 minutes. Iowa must get a better effort from its starters or they can be in and out of the AP top 25 just that quick.
The neutral site can come into play in this game as the Hawkeyes are a 5 point betting favorite in the NCAA Basketball odds and this game is being played in the Bahamas. Xavier , much like UCLA, has looked very impressive, but has played all of their games at home in a place that they dominate. Now, the scene switches and we’ll get an accurate reading of how good a team that they really are. Xavier is 87-12 in their last 99 non –conference games at home and their undefeated mark could be a bit misleading.
Christon and Company
The Musketeers are an offense that’s built around the shooting and passing ability of leading scorer Semaj Christon (16.4 ppg., 5 apg.). Xavier sports 9 players on their roster that play anywhere from 12 to 24 minutes per game while Christon averages 34.4 minutes per game.
With that said, big men Matt Stainbrook and James Farr are key figures offensively and defensively. Stainbrook is averaging 9.2 rebounds per game while Farr has also made the most of his minutes on the court. He’s averaging just 12.8 minutes per game and has managed to put up 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds on 73.1% from the field. The sophomore has actually had an increase in minutes and has taken advantage as he’s had near double-doubles in back to back games. Look for James Farr to be a factor against Iowa.
Iowa has destroyed their opponents by a margin of 38 points per game and have allowed just 54.6 points per game. Their top 25 ranking is totally deceiving as their competition has been “bottom of the barrel”, if you will. Tonight, the real test begins for Roy Devyn Marble, Aaron White and company and it won’ t be nearly as easy.
Pick- Xavier +5 at Bet 365