The College Basketball Weekly Schedule Spot Fade Picks article's fourth edition is ready to go. Last season was the first for this article. During the holiday season, we took a break from this article, but it will now be here on a weekly basis for the rest of the regular 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 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 1-Unit plays.
It was another bad batch of plays in the last article. Texas A&M totally dominated Baylor in a pick that was a great one. The other three were all losses. Iowa didn't appear motivated in a sloppy win over Drake. Green Bay covered for much of the game, but Pacific buried all kinds of threes late in the game to cover. Boise State -23 was the toughest loss of the bunch. Boise State led Bradley 88-59 with 4:50 left in the game before letting Bradley finish the game on an 11-2 run.
Hopefully 2016 will bring some better results for these plays. There is a lot of time left in the college hoops season!
Play #1- Play on LSU +5.5 (Fade Kentucky) on Tuesday, January 5
LSU lost by two points at home against Kentucky last year. While this is a talented Kentucky team, they aren't even close as good as they were a year ago. The Wildcats have played one road game, and that was a 10-point loss at UCLA. UCLA has had some struggles since that game, so that might be a worse loss than it looked at the time. LSU played a tremendous game in upsetting Vanderbilt on the road this past weekend. Ben Simmons scored 36 points in that game. Simmons was the most aggressive he has been all year long. If he keeps going to the rim with that kind of authority, this LSU team is dangerous. I think this Kentucky team is getting a little too much respect from the books because of the amazing season they had last year. Grab the points with the home underdog in this one.
Play #2- Play on Central Michigan (Fade Eastern Michigan) on Wednesday, January 6
The Eastern Michigan Eagles play a zone defense that encourages the opposition to shoot a lot of 3-pointers. That plays right into the strength of the Central Michigan team. Central Michigan has multiple guys who shoot it very well from long distance. Central Michigan beat Eastern Michigan by 14 and 16 points in their two meetings last year.
Additionally, Chris Fowler is Central Michigan's best player, and he has just returned from an injury. Fowler makes this team much better, and I don't think his return will be fully factored in by the oddsmakers for a few games.
Eastern Michigan comes into this one off a bad home loss against North Florida. The Eagles have been a team that lacks confidence at times in the past, and this will likely be one of those times given their recent games and their recent lack of success against their rivals from Central Michigan.
Play #3- Play on UT Arlington (Fade Appalachian State) on Thursday, January 7
The Appalachian State Mountaineers season appears to be headed south in a hurry. Appalachian State has lost eight straight games in a row, and their recent games have been ugly blowout losses. UT Arlington has already gone on the road and won at Ohio State and at Memphis. They lost in overtime at Texas and then bounced back with a big win at UTEP later that same week.
Why would UT Arlington be intimidated in any way to go play Appalachian State after the kind of success they have had against much better teams on the road this year? They should come into this one ready to go and playing with a bunch of confidence. UT Arlington has only played four games in the past four weeks, so they are certainly fresh. Lay the points with UT Arlington here.
Play #4- Play on Montana (Fade Sacramento State) on Saturday, January 9
The Sacramento State Hornets aren't accustomed to playing games at altitude, and they'll have to play two of them this week when they go to Montana State on Thursday night and then Montana on Saturday. That often leads to tired legs in the second game of that kind of stretch. Sacramento State is particularly vulnerable in this spot because their bench sees very little time. Look for the starters to be worn out late in this game.
In addition, the Hornets haven't played a Top 50 team all year, while Montana has played two (Gonzaga and Kansas). Montana also has the advantage because they play much better defense than the rest of the Big Sky Conference. The Grizzlies have always had one of the better home-court advantages in this small conference, and I look for them to win comfortably this Saturday against a tired Sacramento State team.
Last Results- 1 Win (Texas A&M -2.5) 3 Losses (Iowa -16, Wisconsin Green Bay -9, and Boise State -23)
Schedule Spot Fade Plays Season Record- 3 Wins 10 Losses (-$800)
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