Kentucky and North Carolina played in what I believe was one of the best college basketball regular-season games in the last few years. That game was played at a high level all the way. Most of the attention is still on football, but this game was a reminder of why college basketball is such a great sport.
It's the third straight season for the College Basketball Weekly Schedule Spot Fade Picks here at Doc's Sports. I'll be looking at schedule spots that could be bad ones for teams throughout the course of the season and then recommending plays based on those spots. We'll track the weekly results throughout the course of the season. For games that don't have a line at the time each article is written, theBookmaker opening line will be used for grading purposes. All plays will be one-unit plays.
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It was a great start for the plays last week with a 3-1 week. Ohio failed to cover the number against Milwaukee to start things out, but then the next three plays all cashed. Long Beach State squeaked out a cover of the opening line (Long Beach State -3.5) against a short-handed Oregon State team. East Tennessee State coasted to a win over Morehead State on Saturday. Finally, Illinois State won comfortably over a tired St. Joseph's team on Sunday afternoon.
We'll see if we can keep some momentum going into week two for the selections.
Play #1- Play on Wyoming -8 (Fade Troy) on Monday, December 19
The Troy Trojans are from Alabama, and they are making a very rare trip to the West Coast here. Troy played USC very tough late Saturday night. Troy now must face a quick turnaround and go play at Wyoming. The important part of this one is Wyoming plays at one of the highest elevations of any team in the country. That gives them a big home-court advantage, especially against a team that isn't accustomed to playing in that atmosphere. You have to think Troy will be worn out late in this game.
Wyoming is playing faster this year, which gives them a better chance of covering a decent-sized number as a favorite. Troy keeping it close at USC kept this line from getting out of control. I'll take the home favorite.
Play #2- Play on Michigan State (Fade Oakland) on Wednesday, December 21
The Michigan State Spartans are coming off a home loss to the Northeastern Huskies. I think that helps this bet, because it should certainly be wake-up call to the team. Michigan State really misses Miles Bridges, and in general the team isn't as deep as normal, but I still believe this is a pretty good spot to lay the points with the Spartans.
Michigan State needed overtime to beat Oakland last year, and they are coming off the bad loss to Northeastern. There is no overlooking this game if you are Michigan State.
On the other side, Oakland plays Tuesday night against Northeastern at home and then plays Wednesday night in East Lansing against the Spartans. I'll fade them here.
Play #3- Play on Western Michigan (Fade UCLA) on Wednesday, December 21
The UCLA Bruins are coming off a nice win over Ohio State this past Saturday. They start the Pac-12 season in a week by traveling to Oregon. That game against Oregon could be the one that decides the Pac 12 title, and this game fits nicely into the look-ahead category. You have to wonder why UCLA would care about drubbing Western Michigan when they just played a big-name school and then play Oregon to start the Pac-12 in their next contest.
Western Michigan has proven capable of staying close with top teams. They lost by only 11 to Villanova on a neutral floor, and they trailed by only three with six minutes left in that game. Additionally, Western Michigan kept it close against a very good UNC Wilmington team. I don't expect them to win this game or even be all that close, but UCLA will be a big favorite here, and I'll grab the underdog and the points.
Play #4- Play on East Tennessee State (Fade Tennessee) on Thursday, December 22
Tennessee should have beaten North Carolina on December 11. The Volunteers led almost all the way despite playing on the road. In the end, they lost by two points. Tennessee just lost by 10 to Gonzaga in their last game, and that game wasn't as close as the final score indicated.
The Volunteers must now travel to East Tennessee State to take on a sneaky-good team. East Tennessee State is 9-2 on the year now, and you know they will be hungry to try to topple the "big guy" in the state. There's no question who the more motivated team should be in this matchup. Take a look back at the Fort Wayne win over Indiana for a perfect example of that point. I think East Tennessee State has a good chance of winning this game, and I'll take them to cover.
Play #5- Play on Georgia (Fade Oakland) on Friday, December 23
You thought Oakland playing games on back to back nights was bad. How about the fact that they must play three games in four days? This is some crazy scheduling by the Golden Grizzlies, and I have to fade them for a second time this week.
Georgia comes into this game with a Top 100 strength of schedule profile. Oakland has only played one team so far this year that ranks in the Top 175 teams in the country. The Golden Grizzlies aren't a very experienced team now that Kay Felder and Max Hooper are gone. Georgia is definitely the deeper team, and I'll fade Oakland in this very tricky spot.
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