Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 25-20-2 (+3.95 units)
Sunday, 6:00 p.m. ET
Free NCAAB Pick: Georgia ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
One more non-conference matchup awaits Massachusetts and Georgia before both schools dive into their respective A-10 and SEC slates, and Sunday evening’s clash in Athens affords each team with an opportunity for their eighth win of the campaign.
If you don’t have a ticket inside Stegeman Coliseum for the contest, tune your television sets to the SEC Network for the 6 PM tip. Georgia is drawing the chalk line for the matchup that includes a scoreboard target in the low-150s.
Dawgs On 5-Game ATS Streak
Midway through his second season at UMass, Matt McCall brings his squad down to Georgia having split their last four games – both straight up and against the spread – which have all been decided by four points or less. The Minutemen were last on the floor nine days ago as 11½-point favorites at BetOnline against Farleigh Dickinson, and needed a strong second half to avoid the upset in an 85-84 final. They shot better than 57% from the field, but missed 16-of-30 tries from the charity strips, an issue for the team all season.
I’m not sure any team faces a tougher schedule the next two weeks than Georgia. The Bulldogs spend the next two Saturdays on the road at No. 3 Tennessee and No. 12 Auburn, with home dates following those games, respectively, against Vanderbilt and No. 16 Kentucky. After splitting the first six games, Georgia has won four of its last five, the only loss being a 76-74 setback to Arizona State, and covered all five of the contests. It has been eight days since Tom Crean’s crew saw any action, the Bulldogs using their defense to post a 70-59 upset at rival Georgia Tech as 5-point underdogs.
UMass An Underdog For 2nd-Straight Meeting
Sunday’s skirmish is the second of a home-&-home series that started about 54 weeks ago when the schools met for the very first time in Amherst. The Minutemen led wire-to-wire in the 72-62 final after closing as 2½-point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds card, the final appearing closer than the game really was when UMass only scored two points in the final four minutes.
I really think the ‘under’ might be the best bet as my crystal ball shows a final that never reaches 150. Part of the reason for that is both sides having a little post-holiday rust to shake, and being at home, the Bulldogs should be able to get back into a groove faster than UMass. Going with UGA for my free NCAA basketball pick.