It's time for the eighth installment of the College Basketball Weekly Schedule Spot Fade Picks article. Last season was the first for this article. The month of February is here, and that should be exciting for all college basketball fans since March Madness gets underway next month. After the Super Bowl this Sunday, college hoops will be in the spotlight through the end of the season.
For this article throughout the year, 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, the Bookmaker opening line will be used for grading purposes. All plays will be one-unit plays.
It was another very strong week for the fade picks last week! A second consecutive 4-1 week for the plays. The double fade of the Cal Golden Bears worked perfectly. Cal went to Utah, and no one on the team put forth much of an effort except for Jaylen Brown. At Colorado on Sunday, Cal had an early lead, but the Buffaloes used a massive run in the middle of the game to get a big lead before holding on to win by eight and cover.
Nebraska Omaha was definitely in a tough spot, and South Dakota State did step up and show they are the team to beat in the Summit League in their matchup last week. Louisiana Lafayette dominated from the tip against UT Arlington, and that play cashed in comfortably. Eastern Washington had been shooting lights out at home on the year, but they made 1 out of 20 attempts (yes you read that correctly) and won by seven when the line was -8.5 against Sacramento State. That was the lone loser of the week.
We'll see if we can keep the momentum going into this week!
Play #1- Play on Vanderbilt (Fade Texas A&M) on Thursday, February 4
The Texas A&M Aggies picked up a huge win at home against Iowa State in their last game. This is a perfect letdown spot for Texas A&M. It also works out well because they happen to be playing against a Vanderbilt team that badly needs a big win. Vanderbilt has underachieved throughout the course of the season, and the Commodores are going to need some nice wins to even get into the NCAA Tournament.
Over the years, it has never been easy to go to Vanderbilt and get wins. Kevin Stallings is a good coach, and I expect he'll have this talented Vanderbilt team playing better as the season winds down. Texas A&M has zero impressive wins on the road, and at this point I believe they may be a little bit overvalued. We'll back Vanderbilt at home here in what is close to a must-win spot for them.
Play #2- Play on Portland State (Fade Montana State) on Thursday, February 4
Montana State just beat rival Montana in their last game. Montana State isn't a very good team, and it would be surprising if they are able to put together two really strong performances in a row. Portland State already beat Montana State earlier this year on the road, and now they will host this matchup.
Portland State should be really hungry for a win since they just lost two straight on the road last week. Portland State led nearly the entire game at Idaho on Saturday before falling by a point at the buzzer. After a road trip, this game at home against Montana State should be a nice bounce-back spot for Portland State.
Play #3- Play on Belmont (Fade Morehead State) on Thursday, February 4
Morehead State just beat rival Eastern Kentucky on Saturday in what was their biggest win of the season. The Eagles went on the road and took down their rival behind 17 offensive rebounds. While Morehead State isn't necessarily a bad team, it is tough to ask them to go on the road to play arguably the best team in the conference in Belmont right after that big rivalry win.
Belmont is also in a good spot here to put up a big effort. The Bruins had won nine straight before being upset last game at Tennessee Tech. Belmont attempted only seven free throws in that game while Tennessee Tech got to the line 33 times! I'll look to play Belmont minus the points here.
Play #4- Play on Duquesne (Fade Davidson) on Saturday, February 6
Davidson isn't the same team they have been in recent years. The Wildcats are far too reliant on one player (Jack Gibbs), and if he isn't red hot it is tough for this team to win against quality teams. Davidson has a really tough schedule this week. After losing at home to VCU in their last game, Davidson goes to play George Washington on Wednesday night. That will be a tough one. Following that game, they travel to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne.
The Palumbo Center gives Duquesne a tremendous home-court advantage, and the Dukes have knocked off a lot of good teams at home in recent years. Davidson blasted Duquesne both times they played last season, so Duquesne has revenge on their minds as well. Duquesne is a better team than they were last year, while Davidson's level has dropped. I'll take Duquesne in this one.
Last Week's Results- 4 Wins (Utah -5.5, South Dakota State -7.5, Louisiana Lafayette -5.5, Colorado -4) 1 Loss (Eastern Washington -8.5)
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