I miss college football, so on Saturdays, I find myself watching everything. I use the word ‘everything’ because I seriously watch any sport that pops up on my DirecTV. At the moment, that means a lot of the Winter Olympics.
As I’m in the vortex of random sports, I find myself doing my fair share of betting. I had a great NFL and college football season and historically, I’m even better at college basketball.
This Saturday is filled with more than luge and figure skating. You have some great college basketball matchups (Syracuse at Duke) and UFC 170.
I pick February 22nd college basketball games against the spread and also pick the winners of tonight’s UFC 170. Will Ronda Rousey defend her title?
Syracuse at Duke (-5.5) – My pick is Syracuse
This game is a simple pick. Duke is coming off a loss to rival North Carolina and Syracuse lost their undefeated season bid against a bad Boston College team. Which team is more motivated and will bounce back? My pick is Syracuse. They beat Duke earlier this season and are a better team. I love C.J. Fair and think he puts Syracuse on his back.
Clemson at Georgia Tech (+1) – My pick is Clemson
Clemson won a close game against Georgia Tech earlier this month. I believe this game will come down to free throws and Clemson leads the ACC in free throw percentage.
Florida at Ole Miss (+7) – My pick is Florida
The last time we saw these teams play each other, Marshall Henderson went off. He was his usual demonstrative self and knocked off Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship game. A lot has changed in one season. Florida is battling for a #1 ranking and Mississippi is on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Florida has payback on their mind and will easily cover the seven point spread.
Georgia at South Carolina (-1) – My pick is Georgia
I’m sensing a trend so far. I love many road teams this week. I think Georgia is just a better team and South Carolina is a program in dire need of new direction. Frank Martin was a fool to leave Kansas State and has failed in South Carolina.
Baylor at West Virginia (-1.5) – My pick is West Virginia
West Virginia is coming off a 102 point outing and I love them. They are versatile and can score all over the court. WVU’s Juwan Staten and Eron Harris are studs. Baylor won’t be able to shut them both down.
Notre Dame at Virginia (-12.5) – My pick is Notre Dame
Wow, this line is surprising. I know UVA beat the Irish by double-digits in South Bend, but they were on fire that night. Notre Dame has a better team field goal percentage on the season and I don’t see Virginia getting as hot as their first meeting. Notre Dame has a knack for keeping losing efforts close and they’ll lose by single-digits.
IPFW at IUPUI (+5) – My pick is IPFW
Since I attended IPFW, I might be a little biased…but they are a really good small conference team. IUPUI has had their number in the past, but the Mastodons are doing well in The Summit League. A few weeks ago, IPFW beat IUPUI by 15 points at home. I expect a similar finish to this game.
Tennessee at Texas A&M (+4.5) – My pick is Texas A&M
Tennessee struggles on the road. Their home/road split is laughable. A&M’s Jamal Jones is on fire and has averaged 18 ppg in his last five games. UT’s leading scorer Jordan McRae was stymied in their last matchup. A&M will cover and may even be a moneyline play.
LSU at Kentucky (-11.5) – My pick is Kentucky
I’ve stayed away from betting on Kentucky this season. It’s hard to get a feel for a team that starts a new set of players every season. They are inconsistent and three weeks ago, they even lost to LSU. Julius Randle had a bigger role in their win over Ole Miss and I expect a lot of him in this game. LSU is 2-6 on the road this season. I expect a payback cover in Rupp Arena.
Minnesota at Ohio State (-9) – My pick is Ohio State
Ohio State is another team I’ve avoided this season. They had a really bad stretch in the middle of their Big Ten schedule, but has bounced back in a big way. Minnesota could be caught looking ahead since their next two games are against ranked Iowa and Michigan. Aaron Craft will control the pace of the game and I expect the Buckeyes to cover.
UCLA at Stanford (pk) – My pick is UCLA
UCLA is on a four-game winning streak. They have looked like a title contender during this stretch. They are shooting over 50% from the field, including 51% from three-point range. UCLA will need their perimeter shooting against Stanford’s Josh Huestis. He became Stanford’s all-time leading shot blocker this week. UCLA will win a close game with their lights-out outside shooting.
Texas at Kansas (-10) – My pick is Texas
I love Kansas, but ten points is a tough cover against #17 Texas. Texas beat Kansas last week, but were nearly doubled-up in rebounds in the game. Kansas is capping Joe Embiid’s minutes as the season moves along to save him for the tournament. The Jayhawks will win, but will fall shy of double-digits.
UNLV at Boise State (-6.5) – My pick is Boise State
UNLV and Boise State are fighting for seeding in the tough Mountain West Conference. Three weeks ago, UNLV won a close game in their first meeting. I expect more of a perimeter game at Boise State. UNLV does take a decent amount of threes, but Boise State is a better shooting team. UNLV does a good job at defending the paint with seven players averaging over a block per game. Boise State will cover this game from the outside.
Indiana at Northwestern (+1) – My pick is Indiana
Northwestern won their first meeting, holding the Hoosiers to 25% shooting. I don’t see that happening this time around. Indiana had a great non-conference run, but hit a wall in the Big Ten. I expect IU’s Yogi Ferrel and Noah Vonleh to get an inside-outside game going. NU’s leading scorer Drew Crawford has been inconsistent of late. Indiana will win a close game on the road.
Arizona at Colorado (+4.5) – My pick is Arizona
I love Arizona this season. Colorado has been a nice surprise, but they will miss Spencer Dinwiddle in this game. Arizona’s Brandon Ashley and Aaron Gordon are athletic and will cause havoc for Colorado’s forwards. Arizona will win on the road and I expect a large margin of victory.
Sara McMann (+320) vs Ronda Rousey (-400) – My pick is Ronda Rousey
Patrick Cummins (+760) vs Daniel Cormier (-1200) – My pick is Daniel Cormier
Rory MacDonald (-290) vs Demian Maia (+240) – My pick is Rory MacDonald
TJ Waldburger (+170) vs Mike Pyle (-200) – My pick is Mike Pyle
Robert Whittaker (+110) vs Stephen Thompson (+130) – My pick is Robert Whittaker
Rafaello Oliveira (+310) vs Erik Koch (-385) – My pick is Erik Koch
Jessica Eye (+135) vs Alexis Davis (-155) – My pick is Jessica Eye
Ernest Chavez (+240) vs Yosdenis Cedeno (-290) – My pick is Yosdenis Cedeno
Cody Gibson (+189) vs Alajamin Sterling (-225) – My pick is Alajamin Sterling
Pedro Munhoz (+175) vs Raphael Assuncao (-205) – My pick is Pedro Munhoz
Josh Sampo (+135) vs Zach Makovsky (-160) – My pick is Josh Sampo
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.