Gonzaga became the fifth different No. 1- ranked team when this week's AP Top 25 came out. The Bulldogs are definitely deserving. Yes, they play in a weaker conference, but they beat some very good teams in their nonconference schedule , and Mark Few's team has been sharp every single game. Oddsmakers haven't been able to catch up to how good the Bulldogs are this season. Kentucky's home loss to Kansas this past Saturday was a big surprise. Also, UCLA has had a rough run of late , and they have fallen out of the Top 10.
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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, the Bookmaker opening line will be used for grading purposes. All plays will be one-unit plays .
Last week's selections went 3-2-1. Wyoming was up by 20 in the first half against UNLV, but the Cowboys gave it all back and then ended up winning by a point at the buzzer, so Wyoming -8 was a loser. Utah -21 against Oregon State also lost. The Utes didn't dominate that game the way I expected, and Oregon State appears to be making some progress of late. Montana State -1 on the opener ended up being a push as that game went to overtime and then Montana State won by a point. Ole Miss plus the points cashed as Baylor definitely played down to their competition as expected in a bad spot. Santa Clara got some revenge on BYU and the Broncos +4 cashed easily as they won outright comfortably. Fort Wayne got their revenge in a big way on rival IUPUI. Fort Wayne opened as an eight-point favorite in that game, and they won by 40.
There aren't quite as many spots I like this week, but let's get to the four selections.
Play #1- Play on Houston (Fade UCF) on Wednesday, February 1
The UCF Knights are a long way from home. They are on the back end of a tough stretch at Tulsa and then at Houston. The American Athletic Conference lends itself to spots like this where a team is a long way from home for two straight games. The schools are far apart from each other in this conference, and I think we'll be able to catch UCF in a rough spot here.
The Houston Cougars have a better than average home-court advantage. Houston has a pure scorer in Rob Gray, and the Cougars are playing in their third straight home game here, so they have no travel issues. Houston will be favored, but we shouldn't have to lay a big number.
Play #2- Play on Wofford (Fade The Citadel) on Thursday, February 2
The Wofford Terriers were stunned at home earlier this year by The Citadel. The Citadel is a bad team, and they have lost five straight games overall. The Citadel just played three straight games on the road, and this is their first game at home. Wofford is coming off a really disappointing loss to Western Carolina on the road.
Wofford is definitely the team with the higher upside, and I think they'll be even more motivated with revenge on their minds here also. Wofford turned the ball over 23 times in their one-point loss to The Citadel in their first meeting. They should clean things up and win and cover in this contest.
Play #3- Play on Oregon State (Fade Arizona State) on Saturday, February 4
Arizona State isn't a good enough team to take anyone for granted, and if they were ever going to look past a team, it is the Oregon State Beavers. Arizona State plays at Oregon on Thursday and then at Oregon State Saturday. The Sun Devils will likely be dispatched by the Ducks Thursday, and then they have a quick turnaround to go play a team that hasn't won a game in the conference this year. How can you get excited about this game if you are Arizona State?
Oregon State lost by single digits against both Colorado and Utah on the road last week, and that impressed me. The Beavers are starting to take care of the basketball a little better, and that is a huge key. Take the points with the hungry home team here.
Play #4- Play on George Washington (Fade Richmond) on Saturday, February 4
The Richmond Spiders play rival VCU on Wednesday night. That will be the game that gets their attention this week. Richmond will have a hard fight in that game against VCU, and then they come back to play a team they already beat on the road.
George Washington has played a bit better in recent games, and they won't have any pressure on them here. They will be a significant underdog, but this George Washington team has enough talent to win this game.
If Richmond is coming off a win, it is a letdown spot. If they are coming off a loss, there could certainly be a hangover effect here.
Schedule Spot Fade Picks Record From Last Week: 3 Wins 2 Losses 1 Tie (+$80)
Schedule Spot Fade Picks Record Season to Date: 14 Wins 14 Losses 1 Tie (-$160)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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