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November 24, 2016

There are two college selections today.

Take Nebraska +4 spread against Dayton for 3% of the bankroll.

Nebraska has been one of the stingiest teams on defense and the Cornhuskers will try to take advantage of injury-riddled Dayton when the teams meet this afternoon in the first round of the Wooden Legacy at Cal State Fullerton. Nebraska is surrendering an average of 51 points through three games, which comes in at third-fewest in the nation - and will try to maintain that trend against the Flyers, who will be without two-year starter Kendall Pollard and recently lost transfer Josh Cunningham for the year.

Senior guard Tai Webster leads Nebraska in scoring. After scoring an average of 10 points a game a season ago, we have seen his production increase as he is not averaging 17.7 points per game. He also averages 1.7 3-pointers made per game, compared to just .6 per game a season ago. He's shooting .500 (5-of-10) from 3-point range and .889 (16-of-18) from the foul line and is the unquestioned leader of this team. Jack McVeigh and Glynn Watson Jr. are also averaging in double figures for Nebraska, with McVeigh posting 14.7 points per game while Watson is averaging 10.3 points per contest. It's important to mention that the team's two rebounding leaders also rank in the top four in scoring.

The Huskers have prided themselves on the defensive side of the ball, however when they have been able to get their offense going, they have been virtually unstoppable. Nebraska is 38-8 when scoring more than 70 points and while it doesn't happen often, it just goes to show how good their defense can be at shutting down opposing offenses. Nebraska is also second in the nation in free throw percentage, connecting on 85.2% of their shots from the charity stripe.

The Cornhuskers are a team that plays fundamentally sound basketball, which makes them dangerous on whatever court they are playing on. We all know that anything can happen in neutral site games and we simply don't see the Flyers as a head and shoulders 'better' team than Nebraska. Yes, the Cornhuskers have not truly been tested this season, but with the injuries to Dayton already this season, they should be able to keep this game competitive, if not challenge for the outright victory. The points are likely to prove valuable in this contest.

Take Iona -5 spread against Drake for 3% of the bankroll.

This is an interesting matchup as it pits the currently winless (0-2) Iona Gaels against the 1-2 Drake Bulldogs. While on paper it appears that Iona is having a tough start to the season, it's important to note that their schedule has been one of the toughest in the country to date having played both Nevada and Florida State. There is certainly no shame in a team from the MAAC losing to either of those schools and we believe that their high level of competition thus far is actually going to give them a decisive advantage in this contest.

While the Drake Bulldogs have a win already this season on their resume, it had come at the hands of a Division II school. Drake was expected to win that game and even as such, they weren't overly impressive in that victory. In our opinion, both teams are winless on the season. That being said, Iona is the team that is still searching for their first victory of the year and that can be an extremely motivating factor for a team. Scoring has never been an issue with the Gaels. Even though their shooting percentage from the floor seems a bit low, they are averaging 77 points per game on the year and that has come against two big named opponents. Iona should be able to name their score in this contest against an overly matched and somewhat suspect Drake defense which is surrendering an average of 69 points per game and is 267th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. 

Reed Timmer is the player who the Gaels are going to need to contain as he is the one player who seemingly does everything for the Bulldogs. Timmer is averaging 17.7 points per game with Graham Woodward being the next highest scorer, averaging 8 points per game. Where Drake has struggled on the season has been their ball handling skills. While Iona is not known for the defensive prowess on the court, the fact that Drake turns the ball over on 26% of their possessions could be an advantage for the Gaels. One thing that teams cannot afford to do is turn the ball over against Iona and allow them extra possessions. If Drake can't contain the turnovers, this game could get ugly very quickly.

Let's not forget that Iona is the defending MAAC champions from a season ago and made it all the way to the NCAA Tournament. They are a team that once they build momentum, they can be incredibly tough to stop. With the added motivation of playing for their first win of the season, we expect Iona to come out of the gate fast, build a comfortable lead and never look back. Their strong schedule to start the season will help them against what should be considered a 'cupcake' opponent as the Gaels go on to pick up the win and cover.

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