February 16, 2017
There are two college picks tonight.
#1: Take Michigan -1 spread against Wisconsin for 3% of the bankroll.
The Michigan Wolverines come into this contest winning four of their last six games with two very impressive performances, an 86-57 home blowout of rival Michigan State, and then a 75-63 victory at Indiana on Sunday. Despite those victories, Michigan is still very much on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. A win tonight over Wisconsin however would almost guarantee their eligibility barring a late season collapse.
The Wisconsin Badgers are a good team; however, we don't necessarily believe they are as good as their rankings suggest and it appears that the selection committee agreed as they left the then #7 ranked Badgers out of the top 4 in the region when they unveiled their first rankings on Saturday. The Badgers have played in a number of close games this season and have been on the fortunate side of a couple of lucky bounces. Some of those wins could have easily been losses and then Wisconsin then went out and proved everyone right as they suffered what could only be considered a huge upset at the hands of Northwestern who were without their leading scorer for that game.
With Wisconsin reeling at the moment, this could be the ideal time for the Wolverines to gain a manner of revenge on the Badgers. Wisconsin has owned this series as of late, winning 17 of the past 19 meetings including 5 of the last 6 played in Ann Arbor. This is a big-time revenge game for the Wolverines and it couldn't have come at a better time as Michigan is playing some of their best basketball of the season. The Wolverines ultimately need this game much more than the Badgers do in order to cement their place in the upcoming tournament. Expect the Ann Arbor fans to be out in the masses for this contest and help propel their team to victory. The oddsmakers have opened this game with Michigan as the slight favorites and that speaks volumes about how they believe this game will go despite recent history. Michigan takes advantage of their opportunity tonight and comes away with a big victory over their rivals at home.
#2: Take Vanderbilt -3 spread (buy half a point) against Texas A&M for 3% of the bankroll.
The Vanderbilt Commodores haven't exactly lived up to their lofty expectations this season and likely hit their lowest point of the season as they suffered a 20-game blowout loss to the Missouri Tigers on the road. Missouri was 1-10 in conference play prior to clashing with the Commodores and that blowout loss likely took whatever stock the betting public had in Vandy and threw it right in the garbage. The perception of this team is now at an all-time low and that is something that we expect to work to our advantage tonight.
There is no question that Vandy has been a much better team at home than on the road and that is the way it’s been for several seasons. They are a team that lives and dies by the 3-ball and they weren't very good from long range in their most recent contest, hitting just 21.4% of their shots. It was a down effort from the Commodores who normally hit an average of 38.3% (40.2% at home) so we expect a bounce back from them in this contest, especially since the Aggies are not a very good perimeter defending team, allowing their opponents to hit an average of 36.6% of their shots and are giving up an average of 78.1 points per game in true road contests this season.
The Commodores have already defeated the Aggies this season in a 14-point road victory back in January and leads the all-time series 6-2. The Commodores have also never lost a home game to the Aggies and given the way that Texas A&M has been largely inconsistent on offense, we don't believe tonight is the night that changes. Commodores leading scorer Matthew Fisher-Davis returned from a one game absence against Missouri but was largely ineffective from the field, going just 1 of 5 in 17 minutes of action. We expect him to be much more efficient in this contest with a game under his belt.
If this turns out to be a close game, the Commodores will have a decisive advantage at the charity stripe, where they rank 10th in the country in free-throw shooting. Close games are almost always won at the line and if that is the case in this contest, Vanderbilt will have a huge advantage. After being embarrassed by Missouri, we expect the Commodores players to come out of the gate firing. They have the ability to put points up and bunches and should be able to cruise to a comfortable bounce back home win and cover.
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