February 24, 2018
There are three picks today.
#1: Take Marquette -3 spread against DePaul for 3% of the bankroll.
The Marquette Golden Eagles have been an inconsistent team this season thanks in large part to their defense, or better put, their lack of. Marquette has been surrendering an average of 77 points per game to opponents this season, but as leaky as their defense has been, they have compensated with one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The play that they get from their guards has been impressive and they rate in the Top 40 in nearly all offensive categories and we believe that is going to be the difference in this matchup.
The DePaul Blue Demons are simply a bad team this season. They share the same defensive woes as Marquette does, giving up over 75 points per game, but unlike their opponents, their offense has been as inconsistent as it gets. They have not been able to score with any sort of consistency and that is going to cost them against a high-powered team like Marquette. DePaul also struggles defending the 3-ball, allowing opponents to shoot over 38% from deep. Long range shooting is what Marquette specializes in as they have several players on the wing who can knock down perimeter shots. If the Golden Eagles can establish any kind of rhythm, it won't take them long to start pouring in points on the scoreboard.
Marquette is also a team that is squarely on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. They simply cannot afford to drop a game against a DePaul team that is 0-7 in Big East play in their new gymnasium. The Golden Eagles lack of defense will likely allow DePaul to hang around in this game, at least in the early going, however, we do expect this matchup to be a shootout. A shootout is exactly the style that suits Marquette and we don't believe the Blue Demons will have enough bullets in the chamber to keep pace with their opponents for the full 40-minutes. With this game meaning much more to Marquette, they should be able to come away with the win and cover.
#2: Take Texas Tech -1 spread (buy the half point) against Kansas for 3% of the bankroll.
It's certainly hard to forget what the Texas Tech Red Raiders did to the Kansas Jayhawks last month in Allen Fieldhouse, when they upset the Jayhawks 85-73 as 7.5-point underdogs and there is no question that many are expecting the Jayhawks to get their revenge this afternoon. Kansas has been playing extremely well and is currently in a position to extend their record setting run atop the Big 12 conference, especially considering that Texas Tech has struggles recently at the end of the regular season. Given the way they have been playing, it's likely that many expect the Red Raiders to be ripe for the picking, however, we are not one of them.
Texas Tech is a solid all-around team and could be a dark horse come tournament time. Despite how they have been playing recently, this is a team that matches up extremely well with the Jayhawks. They have size, they have athleticism and they absolutely crushed the Jayhawks down low and on the boards in their first meeting, which, let's not forget, was on the road. The Red Raiders were also incredibly well versed in perimeter defense, holding the Jayhawks to a near season low in 3-point shooting. With this game now being played in Lubbock, we don't expect the Jayhawks to have much better looks this afternoon. The Red Raiders are also an extremely deep team, which the Jayhawks are not, which will certainly play a factor in the later stages of this contest.
Bill Self and Kansas have been a huge name in the world of college basketball, however, this season, it has been clear that this is not the same type of Kansas team that we have all been used to seeing in year's past. They have lost more home games this season than in the previous three seasons combined. They are certainly talented, but they do not carry the air of invincibility that they once did. The Red Raiders will not be intimidated in this rematch and while many may believe Kansas has the motivational advantage given this being a revenge matchup, we actually feel that the Red Raiders will be even more motivated to show that their first victory over the Jayhawks was not a fluke.
This will no doubt be a very entertaining contest and will likely be closely contested throughout. The crowd is going to be a raucous one as they cheer their team towards a season sweep and we believe that, coupled with the depth of their rotation will be the difference in the end as the Red Raiders complete the sweep of the Jayhawks, ending their reign as Big 12 champions.
#3: Take Vanderbilt +2 spread (buy the half point) against Texas A&M for 3% of the bankroll.
There has likely been no team more disappointing this season than the Texas A&M Aggies. They have a tremendous amount of talent and were picked to be a potential Elite 8 contender come tournament time, however, they have failed to live up to their lofty expectations, especially when it comes to their play on the road. Despite their skilled players, they simply have not been able to get production on the road on their side of the basketball. They are being outscored by an average of 7 points on the highway this season and that is not a good sign considering they are about to travel into one of the toughest venues for opponents to play in in all of college basketball.
The Vanderbilt Commodores are an extremely underrated team. Their play on the road has left little to be desired, but at home, they have proven to be a completely different team. They have managed to win 5 straight games at home and are shooting nearly 40 percent from long range in their home gym. Given the Aggies lack of perimeter defense that they have showed in their last couple of contests, this could be an area that heavily favors the home team.
The oddsmakers have made a mistake in this matchup. While Texas A&M may be the more talented overall team, there is really no good reason they should be listed as the favorites in this contest. They have failed to live up to their billing this season and this will be another case where the betting public backs the more talented and bigger names program, only to be disappointed at the end when they fail to deliver. Vanderbilt has the advantage in this contest playing at home and that will be the deciding factor in this contest as the Commodores grab the outright victory.
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