College Basketball Picks
Were Michigan’s early struggles a mirage, or did the Wolverines get something figured out after two lackluster games to start the season? Whatever it was, the struggling start to the year seems like it was months ago instead of just over two weeks, and the Wolverines are now rolling at both ends of the floor. Michigan has been spectacular on defense in all six of its wins, but now that freshman Ignas Brazdeikis has gotten rolling, the Wolverines appear just as solid when they have the basketball. Does Michigan have enough momentum to cover the 3 point spread? DJ has your college basketball pick!
Duke showed that it is human in Maui, playing a tight game against Auburn and falling to Gonzaga in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. But those are both top 10 teams on a neutral court, which says that Duke is still an immensely talented squad that will likely be a major factor in both the ACC and the national title chase. Do they have enough momentum to cover the bookie’s line of -14.5? DJ has your basketball pick.
The X-Factor is the 3-point arc. Any time Nebraska is involved, the arc is critical because of how well the Cornhuskers defend it and how many 3-pointers they take. Nebraska’s 3-point defense is second in the nation, holding opponents to just over 20 percent from deep. However, the Huskers are also taking more 3-pointers than they have in past years under Miles, and they aren’t doing a great job of sinking them. Just nine of Nebraska’s past 43 shots from deep have dropped, which took the Huskers out of the game in a loss to Texas Tech and allowed Western Illinois to hang around longer than it should have. Is this the game Nebraska gets some to drop?
The Seminoles take care of the basketball and get the job done on the glass. Florida State grabbed 22 offensive rebounds in its win over LSU, which kept possessions alive and lifted the Seminoles into the championship game. Given Villanova’s tendency to shoot the 3-pointer, this could be a similar kind of game. If Florida State does its job on defense and forces Villanova into less than ideal looks from deep, that means that there will be a lot of rebounds to grab, which favors the Seminoles and their size. Can FSU rebound its way to a -2 cover vs. the defending champs?
DePaul has been a basketball graveyard for the past two decades, but there is some reason for optimism here. The Blue Demons weren’t threatened in either of their first two games and managed to outlast an average Penn State squad in overtime. With a good shooter like Strus in the lineup, they’re a step closer to finally solving the offensive woes that have plagued them for so long. Can DePaul push the undefeated season to 4 or at least keep it within 5 points for underdog backers?