January 20, 2018
There are two picks today.
#1: Take Oklahoma -2 spread (buy the half point) against Oklahoma State for 3% the bankroll.
By now, the entire college basketball world has heard of Oklahoma's star freshman, Trae Young. Young currently leads the nation in scoring and assists and is undoubtedly the driving force of this Sooners' offense. Young is coming off his worst performance of the season and his team suffered their worst loss of the season, losing 87-69 at Kansas State. That was just the Sooners' third loss of the season and given the performance of Young in that contest, we believe they are primed for a huge bounce back effort. They have won their past two games after suffering a loss by double-digits and we don't believe anything changes in this contest.
Oklahoma State is a solid team and an in-state rival, so we believe they will likely be able to hold their own in the early portion of the contest, simply because of their defensive effort. That being said, the Sooners' are one of the top offensive teams in the country and now they have the added motivation of avenging their most recent performance. This is simply a bad spot for the Cowboys to be in and we don't believe their defense will be able to contain Young for the full 40 minutes.
After this matchup, the Sooners have a big matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks at home on Tuesday. While many may believe they could find themselves in a lookahead spot, we don't agree. Had the Sooners not lost at Kansas State, they would be in a much more precarious position and subject to a letdown, however, off a loss, we expect the Cowboys to have Oklahoma's full attention in this contest. The Sooners' will need a bit of momentum ahead of their matchup with Kansas and can ill-afford to suffer back-to-back conference losses. Expect Young to have a bounce back game in this contest and given the matchup, we wouldn't be surprised to see the youngster grab his first triple-double of the season. Oklahoma State may step up early, but they won't be able to keep up as the Sooners' grab the win and cover on the road.
#2: Take Kentucky -2 spread (buy the half point) against Florida for 3% of the bankroll.
Two of the top teams in the SEC meet tonight as the Florida Gators travel to Rupp Arena to take on the Kentucky Wildcats.
While this is certainly an intriguing matchup between two conference powerhouses, we believe Kentucky should have a decided advantage in this matchup. The Wildcats are coming off somewhat of a head-scratching loss at South Carolina, as we believe they were caught looking ahead to this matchup. We believe they will be in full bounce back mode for this contest and playing in the friendly confines of Rupp Arena will only add to the emotional and motivational advantage they will have in this contest.
A big reason for the success of the Florida gators this season has been their ability to knock down the three-ball. Thus far they have been extremely successful, however, in their losses, it has been when they have struggled with their perimeter shooting. That puts them in a very tough position in this contest as Kentucky is one of the best teams in the conference at defending the three-ball. If they can contest shots and limit the damage from long-range, they should be able to hold the otherwise potent Gator offense in check.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is not known as a 3-point shooting team and instead, likes to get most of their points in the paint. With Florida's recent lack of defensive effort, this could be a matchup where Kentucky turns into that perimeter shooting team. If they can get the Gator defense to collapse in the middle, that will leave wing shooters wide open on the perimeter. It will be interesting to see how both coaches game plan against the opposing offense, however, we believe John Calipari will come up with the superior game plan.
This should be an exciting matchup to watch, however, from a handicapping standpoint, Kentucky owns the advantage. Playing at home, coming off a loss, they should bounce back with a big win over their top conference rival.
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