Daily Sports Pick ’Em 1/7 — NCAAB and NBA Picks
Today’s card will feature five college basketball picks and a handful of NBA props.
Iowa vs Maryland (Over 154.5) (7:00 p.m. EST)
Two high-powered offenses are set to square off Thursday as the high-scoring Hawkeyes take on the Maryland Terrapins.
While this title is up for debate given Gonzaga’s scoring prowess, Iowa is listed by KenPom as the most efficient offensive team in the country. They have the runaway Player of the Year favorite down low in Luka Garza who is capable of giving you 30 points and 10 rebounds any given night. It is not just a one-man show, however, as Iowa has players that light up the score column at all five positions. Iowa shoots 37.3 percent from distance and gets double-digit points per game production from Joe Weiskamp and CJ Fredrick as well. Iowa also ranks 17th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, largely thanks to Garza.
Where Iowa has struggled, however, is on the defensive end. The Hawkeyes are barely a top-100 team by most metrics when it comes to their defensive efficiency. The Hawkeyes have struggled defending the 3-point line this season, allowing opponents to shoot nearly 36 percent from the long arc.
Like Iowa, Maryland’s strength lies in its offense, which ranks 13th in the country according to KenPom. The Terrapins have done a great job shooting the ball this season and currently rank in the top 75 in 3-point shooting percentage. They are also similar to Iowa in terms of struggling defensively. The Terps don’t force many turnovers, which does not bode well against an elite Hawkeye offense.
I’m now seeing this game at 152.5, which is puzzling to me given how offense-centric these two teams are. I project this game near 160 as this contest should be a shootout between two elite offenses. If Iowa is able to play at the fast tempo they prefer, this game should go well over. I don’t see either team’s defense putting up much resistance.
PICK: Over 154.5
UCLA vs Arizona State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Pac-12 after dark returns as the Bruins travel to the Valley of the Sun to face Arizona State.
UCLA comes in after a hard-fought win against Colorado. The Bruins have picked up right where they left off in conference play last year and currently find themselves tied for first in the conference with Oregon. UCLA is a solid all-around team, but I feel their strength lies in their frontcourt that pulls down 36 rebounds a game. Jalen Hill, Chris Smith and Cody Riley should have a field day against an Arizona State team that ranks 323rd in the country in offensive rebounding percentage and 199th in defensive rebounding percentage.
With Arizona State, the Sun Devils have seen their last four games go by the wayside due to COVID-19 concerns. ASU fell apart last game against UTEP and conceded two big second half runs before ultimately falling short to the Miners.
Josh Christopher and Remy Martin have been solid contributors this year for a Sun Devils offense that puts up 77 points per game. Martin and Christopher combine for 34 points per game, but the rest of the team has struggled to find consistency with regard. I always felt people were too high on Arizona State coming into this season, and so far they’ve failed expectations in their 4–3 start. As I previously mentioned, this team lacks a true presence down low, which doesn’t serve well against an intimidating UCLA frontcourt. This team doesn’t particularly shoot well either, as they are knocking down 32.9 percent of their threes and 69.3 percent of their free throws.
I like UCLA here for a variety of reasons. The Bruins have more depth and have also been playing their basketball of the season. Arizona State will have some rust to knockoff in this one.
PICK: UCLA PK
Other NCAAB Picks:
Hofstra (-4) vs Northeastern (5:00 p.m. EST)
Northeastern has struggled this year offensively outside of victories against UMass and Elon. Hofstra has been one of the best cover teams in college basketball over the last few years, have the two best players on the floor in Tareq Coburn and Jalen Ray, and have the better offensive team here overall. I’ll give the defensive advantage to Northeastern, but they also haven’t rebounded better than the Pride.
PICK: Hofstra (-4)
SMU(-5.5) vs Cincinnati
Cincinnati has been a regular fade for me of late, and I’m sticking with that trend here. The Mustangs are the better team and were able to put up a decent fight against Houston. The Bearcats are 1–7 ATS this year and have allowed over 70 points per game in each of their last five contests. Combine that with the fact that Cincinnati hasn’t been able to shoot well from three at all, and this has all the makings of a Mustang cover.
- The Bearcats are 0–4 ATS in their last four after an ATS loss
- Cincinnati is 8–20 ATS in their last 28 road games
PICK: SMU (-5.5)
Tennessee Tech vs Morehead State (Under 133.5) (7:00 p.m. EST)
Projecting this total at 131. These are two teams that flat out can’t score. Morehead State is 1–8 to the under this year, ranks 285th in offensive efficiency, shoots 27 percent from deep and plays at a snail’s pace. Tennessee Tech ranks 316th in offensive efficiency and shoots 28.3 percent from deep.
PICK: Under 133.5
Dillon Brooks under 19.5 points (-115)
Back on Dillon Brooks unders again tonight as the Grizzlies take on the Cavaliers. Brooks has continued to see a decline in his minutes and points.