Join this NCAA Basketball betting adviser as he dissects the odds from today's loaded slate of games and shares his top two favorite picks.
Stanford Cardinal (3-0) vs. Duke Blue Devils (4-0)
How Much Longer Can I Tail Duke?
We tailed the Dukies and super freshman Jahlil Okafor and once again managed to pick up the win and cover, but this was too close for comfort. Nonetheless, there's no reason for me to stop riding the back of Duke even as they face their toughest opponent to date in the Stanford Cardinal. The betting odds keep getting lower for each Duke game as they're a 10.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 145. Can Duke keep covering is the $64,000 question?
Coaches versus Cancer Classic
The difference in Duke's last game was that Okafor played some legitimate talent in Temple and although he's still a stud, he was exposed a bit for his lack of experience at the collegiate level.
In his first 3 games, Jahlil Okafor was 25 for 30 from the field, which is unheard of. Against the Owls, he was just 7 for 20 from the field, but still managed 16 points and 8 rebounds; call it growing pains.
Playing Like a Senior
Quinn Cook may not have the natural talent of a Kyrie Irving, but he's more of a throwback to Duke's dominant days in the late 80's and early 90's.
Each season, Cook has gotten progressively better and is in fact the leader of this basketball team. Cook shot 50% against Temple and led the way with 17 points and 5 assists. The kid is just that good and a quick learner with great experience. He'll have his occasional off game, but look for Cook to be a leader on the court as Stanford is no slouch.
Stanford will be coming into this game with major confidence as they blasted UNLV out of the building on Friday in an 89-60 romp. Guard, Anthony Brown, led the Cardinal in every major statistical category in his best game of the season in limited time due to the blowout. Stanford is loaded at the guard position as senior, Chasson Randle, is a massive producer along with Brown.
Randle is also coming off of a big game as he was a sizzling 6 for 10 from 3-point range against the UNLV matador defense. I expect Randle to lead the way against Duke and center Stefan Nastic will need to be much better than 3 for 13 when facing Okafor or this game can get out of hand fairly quickly. Look for Stanford to be competitive in a loss.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Stanford +10.5 at 5 Dimes
#21 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0) vs. Rhode Island Rams (2-0)
The much improved Rhode Island Rams behind the mastermind Coach Dan Hurley get a crack at knocking off a ranked team on their home court.
Nebraska has managed to dominate a couple of cupcakes in their 1st 2 games, but Rhode Island on the road is a huge test. The Huskers major weakness is their rebounding and may come back to bite them in the backside. Nebraska is averaging a mere 36.5 rebounds and 11 assists per game this season. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt as the season has only just begun.
Where the Rams are concerned, their schedule is just about to get challenging and a win here as a slight home underdog in NCAA Basketball odds will put this university on the map.
For Rhode Island to be effective, guard, E.C. Matthews, will need to be the player that he was last season. Thus far, Matthews is off to a bit of a slow start, but I wouldn't expect that to last. Matthews is averaged 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in his freshman season and look for Matthews to play a major role in this game. Sophomore, Hassan Martin has gotten off to a blazing fast start, shooting 76.2 % from the field while averaging 19.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. Look for Martin to dominate the glass in this game.
From a Cornhuskers perspective, junior Terran Petteway, has gotten off to a fast start after a fantastic sophomore campaign. Petteway is averaging 24 points per game on 50 % shooting from 3-point range.
The difficulty in opponents will only get tougher, but this is a player that's battle-tested and produces. Guard/Forward, Shavon Shields, is not only a productive scorer, but gives the Huskers a much needed presence on the boards. This is a major issue with Nebraska and the outcome of this game could be dependent upon the "battle of the boards". Nebraska has the superior talent, but this game will be very close throughout.