You’re still getting a lot of the top 25 teams facing off against the smaller schools, but the bar has been raised as these are smaller schools with better reputations and winning records. Let’s see if we see any upsets with our NCAAB picks.
Cleveland State (3-2) at #4 Kentucky (4-1)
As we know, most of the Kentucky freshman are there to play for one season and it’s on to the NBA. Kentucky has a very deep team with a tremendous amount of talent. So much talent, that after a 105-76 victory over the Texas-Arlington Mavericks head coach John Calipari thought that his team played down to the competition.
Kentucky shot over 50% from the field, outrebounded the Mavericks, doubled their opponents in assists, and committed just 8 turnovers for the game. Maybe the coach should re-watch the video tape.
A different player has stepped up in each of the past few games and the Wildcats are a team that sports 8 players that average over 5 points per game. Sometimes it’s a matter of talented players not getting enough playing time on a team with such greatness.
One thing that the Wildcats can rely on is the production of superstar Julius Randle. Randle has great size at 6 foot 9, 250 pounds and can back it up with elite skills on both sides of the court. He’s averaging 20.8 points and 13.4 rebounds per game. If the Vikings have any chance of being competitive, they need to contain Randle; easier said than done.
The Vikings have been a mere average team thus far with wins over Iona and Robert Morris. However, they’re coming off of a strong 54 point 2nd half against Robert Morris in a 13 point victory. Leading scorer, Bryn Forbes (19.6 points 46.7%), will need to carry this team offensively as their upcoming game against the freshman-filled Wildcats is a complete mismatch. Don’t look for any upsets here.
Pick- Kentucky -20.5 at Bet 365
#16 Florida (4-1) at Jacksonville (2-3)
Letting It Slide?
With a matchup with Florida State on Friday, head coach, Billy Donovan, has had a change of heart on the status of senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who had been suspended. With the injury of Kasey Hill, Donovan has re-instated Wilbekin, making him eligible for tonight’s game, thus giving the point guard some much needed time on the court before the Gators reach the tougher part of the schedule. We don’t know how much playing time that Wilbekin will get, but with his experience and the lack of depth at the point guard position, this can only be an added plus for the Gators.
Odds Currently Unavailable
Keep an eye on our NCAAB odds or your local betting shop for odds to come out on this matchup. BetOnline is a sportsbook that’s usually quick to the punch when laying out the odds. Expect Florida to be a double digit favorite against an overmatched Jacksonville team on the road and with the addition of Wilbekin, Florida will be a larger favorite than normal.
Jacksonville is averaging over 80 points per game against some decent competition, but Wilbekin is highly regarded as one of the best defenders in the country and this will be a test for the Dolphins.
Jacksonville is coming off of a 76-72 victory over the Florida A&M Rattlers with freshman Marcel White leading the way. White has had his minutes increased the last 2 games and has responded, averaging 15 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game. This is a player that can shoot the 3-ball. Look for more of White and the Dolphins leading scorer, Jarvis Haywood (15.3 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), to be two of the go to guys offensively as a meeting against Florida is a substantial test for any team in the nation.
Florida will be looking for Casey Prather to get back on track as their leading scorer has been in a bit of a slump lately. The senior has shot just 40 % from the field while averaging 10.5 points in his last 2 games.
Although Jacksonville is a good home team, look for Florida to put a thorough beating on the Dolphins with the return of Wilbekin.