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January 13, 2018

There are two picks today.  

#1: Take Tulane -2 spread (buy the half point) against UConn for 3% of the bankroll.

We find it interesting that despite UConn owning 5 straight victories over the Green Wave, that they are the underdogs in this contest, but believe it is for good reason. Having lost 5 straight in the series, there is no question that the Green Wave will be extra motivated to claw their way back into the series and break their recent streak of losses. They should have a solid opportunity to do so in this contest as Kevin Ollie's team has been extremely poor on the road this season, losing all three of their true road games on the year.

UConn is a storied program in the world of college basketball, however, they are not as deep (or talented) as in year's past. The Huskies have struggled in all facets of their game this season from scoring, rebounding and defensive efficiency, however, the one glaring statistic that they have struggled with the most is sharing the basketball. UConn ranks one spot above dead last in the country in assists. They do not distribute the basketball well and have been playing more ISO, which has hurt their offensive efficiency.

Tulane has been as good as can be on their home court this season, going 8-1 on the year. They hold some notable wins over big named programs already this season defeating the likes of SMU and Temple, while holding their own (albeit in defeat) against Florida State and North Carolina. They will not be intimidated going up against UConn in this contest and should hold numerous advantages over their opponents. Tulane is scoring an average of 81 points per contest on their home floor and we don't believe the sporadic offense of UConn will be able to keep up on the scoreboard. The Huskies porous defense and inability to defend the 3-ball will likely be their downfall in this contest as Tulane pulls out the victory.


#2: Take Texas Tech -4 spread (buy the half point) against West Virginia for 3% of the bankroll.

The West Virginia Mountaineers travel to Lubbock Texas as the number 2 ranked team in the country and on the nation's longest winning streak (15 games) and yet they are listed as more than a possession underdog which we believe speaks volumes about how the oddsmakers expect this matchup to play out. There is no question that west Virginia has been making noise in the media this season, but we expect their momentum to be halted this afternoon against a Texas Tech team that we feel still isn't truly getting the respect that they deserve. The Red Raiders have been one of the surprise teams this season, but it shouldn't come as much of a surprise at all. This is an extremely talent team that leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth in nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 60.2 points per game.

The Motivational edge should also lie with the home team in this contest as they have lost 7 of the last 8 meetings against West Virginia, but did beat the Mountaineers in Lubbock a season ago. The Red Raiders are also coming home after a poor road performance against the Oklahoma Sooners. Texas Tech was never able to truly get in rhythm in that matchup and could have possibly been looking ahead to this matchup with West Virginia. Whatever the case, we expect them to have a bounce back performance in this contest and the thought of ending the longest winning streak in the country, along with knocking off the #2 ranked team in the nation should give them an advantage.

West Virginia also find themselves in a less than advantageous scheduling spot. After a hard-fought and physical (close) win over the Baylor Bears in their most recent contest, the Mountaineers will face this Texas Tech team who is coming off a loss. Not only that, West Virginia has a huge matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks on deck in their next contest, which could cause them to look ahead of this matchup. Their gritty win over Baylor could have taken a lot of their gas tank, so if this turns into another physical battle, we wouldn't be surprising to see the Mountaineers start to fade late in the game.

This is exactly the type of matchup that the Red Raiders need to win and given the line that the oddsmakers opened this game at, we believe they do just that. It may come to a surprise to some, but we believe Texas Tech will come away with a comfortable victory in this one.

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