NCAA Basketball Expert Betting Advice: Three Interesting Opening Lines 1/16/2018
Kansas got some good news over the weekend when the NCAA cleared heralded freshman big man Silvio De Sousa to play. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Angola native was a four-star recruit (No. 28 in the ESPN 100) but hadn't been eligible yet as De Sousa was originally a Class of 2018 prospect who opted to reclassify to 2017 and arrived on campus in late December. The NCAA doesn't exactly move at a speedy pace when working, so it took this long for him to receive clearance. He played four minutes in KU's 73-72 win over Kansas State on Saturday. Coach Bill Self said before the ruling that De Sousa would be used in short spurts until he's ready and the school only learned of the ruling that morning. The Jayhawks remain without five-star freshman Billy Preston, who is suspended indefinitely as the school investigation into a situation involving a vehicle he was driving at the time of a car accident in November.
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Clemson at North Carolina ( -6 )
ACC matchup at 7 p.m. ET on the ACC Network Extra. This rivalry has my favorite statistic in all of college basketball. Clemson has played in Chapel Hill 58 times - and has as many wins there as I do. Zero. Needless to say, that's an NCAA record for most consecutive home wins against one opponent. They haven't met since there since 2015, but the Heels have won 26 of the past 28 by double digits at home. Last year, Clemson lost 89-86 in overtime at home to the Heels. UNC's Joel Berry had career highs with 31 points and seven 3-pointers. That loss sent Clemson, which had been 11-2 and on a nine-game winning streak, into a tailspin.
The Tigers are off a 72-63 home win over No. 18 Miami on Saturday. Michigan graduate transfer Donte Grantham had 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Clemson had a season-high 12 3-pointers, four of those coming in the final 10 minutes of a tie game. Miami came into the game leading the ACC in conference play in 3-point percentage defense. It was only the fifth time in school history that Clemson beat a ranked ACC team on just one day of rest. The Heels won 69-68 at Notre Dame on Saturday. Berry II made two free throws with 7.1 seconds left for the winning points. UNC shot just 42.6 percent from the field but held the Irish to 34.8 percent.
Key trends: The Tigers are 2-5-1 against the spread in their past eight road games. The Heels are 1-4-1 ATS in their past six vs. the ACC. Clemson is 1-7-1 ATS in the past nine meetings.
The pick: Streak continues but Clemson covers.
Pittsburgh at Syracuse (-16.5)
We stay in the ACC with a 9 p.m. ET tip also on that ACC Network Extra. What has happened to these once powerhouse Big East programs? Well, Jim Boeheim brought Syracuse down with all those NCAA violations and the fact he won't retire. He originally was supposed to after this season but got a contract extension last March after Syracuse's coach-in-waiting, Mike Hopkins, surprisingly accepted the Washington job. Hopkins clearly saw the writing on the wall. Pitt, meanwhile, cut its own throat when it forced Jamie Dixon out of town a couple of years ago - he's working miracles at his alma mater TCU. These schools split last year, each winning at home.
Pitt has started conference play with five straight losses; the Panthers were beaten 69-54 at home by Georgia Tech on Saturday. To make matters worse, the school announced that senior forward Ryan Luther's season is over. Luther averaged 12.7 points and a team-high 10.1 rebounds in 10 games this season but has a stress reaction in his right foot. Luther said he will apply for a medical hardship in hopes of keeping his collegiate career going next season. The Orange dropped their fourth straight Saturday, 101-90 in double overtime at No. 23 Florida State. Oshae Brissett missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime that would have won the game for SU. The Seminoles scored 31 points off 19 Syracuse turnovers
Key trends: Pitt is 1-9 ATS in its past 10 vs. the ACC. The Orange are 2-6 ATS in their previous eight at home. The Panthers are 8-1-1 ATS in their past 10 at SU.
The pick: Pittsburgh.
Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-9.5)
A 9 p.m. ET tip on the SEC Network. Injuries have wrecked Texas A&M, which was ranked as high as No. 5 earlier this season but is 0-5 in the SEC following a 75-62 loss at No. 24 Tennessee on Saturday. Duane Wilson came off the bench and had six points and six assists vs. the Vols. Admon Gilder just returned two games ago after missing five with a knee injury. Saturday was DJ Hogg's third game with the Aggies since serving a three-game suspension. And star Robert Williams, who probably would have been an NBA lottery pick in last June's draft had he come out, missed a game due to illness. Ole Miss beat visiting Florida on Saturday, 78-72. Deandre Burnett returned after missing a game with the flu and had 20 points. With the game tied at 60, the Gators, who had been unbeaten in the SEC, went 2 of 13 in the final 7:49. Ole Miss shot 60 percent (15-for-25) in the second half. The Rebels made at least 20 free throws (22 of 26) for the fifth time this season, improving to 5-0 in those games.
It's the Rebels' second game against Texas A&M this season - sort of. The Rebels beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 85-63 on Dec. 19. Last year, the Rebs and Aggies met once and A&M won 80-76 in Oxford behind 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Gilder. Williams added 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds as the Aggies won the battle of the boards 39-23. Burnett had 16 points and seven assists for the Rebels.
Key trends: The Rebs have failed to cover five straight on the road. The Aggies are 1-6 ATS in their past seven SEC games. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six.
The pick: Texas A&M.
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