Today's Top Picks: Three college basketball best bets for Wednesday as dust settles on Kansas St.-Kansas brawl
Though at least one good thing did come out of it.
Anyway, for tonight, let’s just have some peaceful action. No fights. No stools being lifted above anybody’s head for a reason other than celebration. Just basketball, and hopefully three winning picks.
All lines via William Hill.
1. Penn State at Michigan: Penn State +5
Michigan got off to a fantastic start to the season, but it has cooled off considerably in conference play. The Wolverines are only 2-4 in the Big Ten, with all four losses coming on the road. This game will be at home in Ann Arbor, but I still like Penn State to cover at the very least. The reason is that Michigan’s defense has been horrific in conference play. Its defensive rating on KenPom in conference games is 113.8. For context, if that were Michigan’s rating for the entire season, it would rank 342nd of 353 teams. Offensively the Wolverines have been fantastic, but it’s hard to win in the Big Ten when you aren’t playing defense, and it’s harder to cover.
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There’s a simple formula for beating Iowa: you have to outscore it. The difficulty comes in doing so! Iowa has one of the best offenses in the country, and in this game, it will be going against a Rutgers defense that has proven to be one of the best in the country itself. For this matchup, I’m leaning toward Iowa’s offense at home. Rutgers has played five games away from home, and it is 1-4 in those games with the lone win coming against a bad Nebraska team. The Knights are also one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten, and I don’t see them being able to keep pace with Iowa on the road, even if they slow the Hawkeyes offense down a bit.
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Tulsa comes into this game playing well. The Hurricane has won three straight and four of their last five. While playing at home at the Reynolds Center this season, Tulsa is 9-2. Memphis hasn’t been as strong on the road, and Tulsa has a size advantage on the Tigers that could give them an edge on the glass. Considering how dependent Memphis can be on second-chance points for offense at times, that would be a problem for the Tigers. I’d take Tulsa and the points, but if you want to make a moneyline play, I don’t think it’s a horrible move if you can find it at +150 or better.
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