February 4, 2017
There are 3 college plays tonight! Please scroll down to view them.
SPS has also released its Super Bowl pick for Sunday.
#1: Take St. John's +17.5 spread against Villanova for 3% of the bankroll.
Villanova beat up on St. John’s, 70-57 on the road in their first meeting back on Jan. 14, however that was a different Villanova team than we have been seeing recently. The defending National Champs have been managing to win games, however they have been doing so in less than dominant fashion. They recently took down Providence on the road, 66-57 but it was a rather sloppy performance which saw the Wildcats turn the ball over 15 times, with 10 of those being in the first half.
The St John's Red Storm are not having a great season this year, however they have improved over the last year and with a lot of young talent on this roster, we expect them to grow and potentially catch the eyes of the experts in the upcoming seasons. That being said, they are still a team that has the ability to put together solid outings, especially against some of the better teams in the conference. Most recently the Red Storm took down a very good Marquette team, 86-72 at home. In that contest, they held the Golden Eagles to just 37% shooting from the field and forced them to turn the ball over 17 times! While playing on the road is certainly different, these are a lot of points to be giving up to a young, confident team who is seeking revenge.
Both of these teams have been winning ball games with their defense. St John’s is an extremely long team that has a ton of size down low which has allowed them to protect the paint. Villanova is a team that likes to play in the half court, however they have been extremely sloppy with the basketball as of late. Laying these amount of points, they can ill afford another sloppy game and expect to cover the spread. The Wildcats also don't have much to gain by winning this game in blowout fashion. They have already beaten this team soundly just a couple of short weeks ago, so we wouldn't expect that they would come into this matchup with much in the way of motivation.
This is a matchup that means much more to St John's than it does to Villanova. The Wildcats are the defending champions and because of that, they are going to get St John's absolute best shot in this contest, especially since the Red Storm will be playing with revenge in mind. St John's have proven that they can show up and compete and we expect this matchup to be much closer than the oddmakers are expecting. Even if Villanova manages to jump out to a large lead in this contest, we don't expect them to keep their foot on the gas and that will leave the door open for St Johns to grab a backdoor cover.
#2: Take Illinois State +10 spread against Wichita State for 3% of the bankroll.
We find it interesting that the oddsmakers have set the Wichita State Shockers as such decided favorites in this matchup with the Illinois State Red Birds. The Shockers are 12-1 in MVC play this season and interestingly enough, the team to hand them their single loss; the Illinois State Redbirds.
This is what we would consider a 'perfect storm' of events which has led to the oddsmakers severely inflating this line. The Wichita St Shockers will undoubtedly be looking to avenge their lone conference loss on the season which puts the revenge factor into play however there is also another angle at play which is the fact that MiKyle McIntosh will not play for this matchup. McIntosh injured his knee in the Red Birds most recent victory over Northern Iowa and is scheduled to miss several weeks. That being said, McIntosh is not a one man show and we believe the oddsmakers have simply overstated his value and overall effect on this team.
Deontae Hawkins actually leads the Redbirds with 14.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds while Paris Lee adds 13.2 points and 5.4 assists. Phil Fayne picked up the slack when McIntosh left the game and came away with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Illinois State is a team that embodies the entire "team" mantra. They are an unselfish bunch on offense which average s 70.9 points per game, but their real strength is on the defensive end as they have been holding opponents to just 61.6 points on 37.1 percent shooting from the field which ranks fourth in the nation.
Wichita State is a good team and can be tough at home, but this is not the same dominant team as year's past. They have not been blowing teams out like we have been used to seeing and tonight they will be going up against the best defense they have played all season long. The Red Birds already beat Wichita State with their defense in the first meeting and we wouldn't be surprised if they did it again on the Shockers home floor. There is no doubt the Shockers will be motivated for this matchup, however we believe this is simply too many points to be spotting the number 1 team in the conference who has yet to taste a conference loss this season. While this may in fact be where their undefeated streak ends, we believe they will put forth a strong effort and keep this game close to the end.
#3: Take Florida -2 spread (buy half a point) against Kentucky for 3% of the bankroll.
The Kentucky Wildcats have been a perennial powerhouse in conference play for nearly a decade. They have dominated nearly every team they have played and the Florida Gators are no exception. John Calipari’s team owns 5 straight wins over the Gators, by an average of over 13 points per game and yet, for some reason, the oddsmakers have listed Florida as the favorites in this contest. We believe that speaks volumes about how they believe this game is going to play out.
There is no question that Kentucky is a solid team. They are littered with talent each and every year, however, all the talent in the world does not make a team great. Kentucky still has numerous issues that they have yet to shore up. They avoided their first 3 game losing streak under Calipari in their last contest, however they needed overtime to do it. This is simply not the same dominant Kentucky team that we have seen in years past. The Kentucky name alone places a huge target on the team's back. They have become the benchmark that other teams elevate themselves to and that means that just because Kentucky is Kentucky, that they are going to get the best that each team brings. Now that the Wildcats have been struggling, we don't expect any team to give them any sympathy, especially not this Florida team. Florida has been dominated in this series, with the average margin of defeat over the last 5 in the series being 13.6 points. We don't expect Florida to show the Wildcats any mercy. We expect the Gators come in and attack the basket while they are at their most vulnerable.
Florida will come into this matchup extremely confident, not only for being on a 3-game winning streak, but because they played a near perfect game their last time out against Missouri. There is a difference between confidence and being cocky, having lost 5 straight to the Wildcats, we don't believe they have earned the right to look past them and assume that since they have been playing well that a victory will come easily; that will not be the case. The Gators will be hungry for this matchup and the way they have been playing will give them the confidence to take the shots needing to penetrate the Wildcat defense. We don't expect them to be intimated, simply because they have been dominated in the past.
It's always dangerous playing a team as the lies of Kentucky, as they can never truly be counted out of a ball game, however the Wildcats have struggled on the road even dating back to last season. There is a reason why the oddsmakers have listed the Gators as the favorites. We believe this is the season where they finally snap their losing streak to Calipari's squad and gives their home fans something to cheer about. The crowd will be loud in this one tonight and that home crowd advantage will likely be the difference in the end.
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