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Butler vs. Vanderbilt NCAA Basketball Pick – November 24th

We had to wait until the final ten minutes for the Spartans to crank it up to gear, but in the end, the stretched it out against an improved St. John’s squad to cover the seven point spread and secure the 11-point win.  The win pushed us to 9-4 ATS in college hoops and feeling good heading into the Thanksgiving weekend feast of college hoops.

There are SO MANY games to choose from the next few days, so pour though the games carefully and avoid the rookie trap SO many wagerers fall into; the “this game is on TV, I’ve head of this team before, let’s bet on them” trap.  Look, sports are supposed to be FUN, so if you really just enjoy the game more with a small play on it and don’t care if you win or lose, knock yourself out.  But with so many teams appearing on television in these pre-con tourneys who have nice BRAND names, but not great 2016-2017 squads, please exercise some caution…

First, a quick recap of yesterday.  North Carolina looks AMAZING.  I had a “wait and see” preseason take on the Heels.  After three weeks of watching a dangerously excessive amount of basketball, I think they are the best team in the country right now.  I trust their backcourt over Kentucky’s, their health over Duke’s and their interior depth over Villanova.  And Indiana… grrrrr…. still pouting over Tuesday’s insanity.

Elsewhere, Wichita State looks great, winning yet another game by 35 points, this time beating a reasonable LSU squad with both fists.  There is no line on today’s Louisville game yet, but if they are getting points, I am likely IN.

OK, so much action to cover, but I finally narrowed it down to my favorite play.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Butler Bulldogs -7 vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (Las Vegas Invitational)

Butler is doing what they always do to this point in the season; exceed marginal expectations with impressive play.  Their home win over Northwestern is going to look even better by the end of the season and they return some nice talent some last year’s squad including All Big East Kelan Martin.

Meanwhile, it looks like a tough year for Vandy.  They got a decent win over city-mate Belmont, but losses to Bucknell and a 24-point loss to Marquette aren’t good signs.  It is a pretty big rebuild year for new coach Bryce Drew and the ‘Dores and a neutral floor matchup against Butler, who seems to THRIVE in neutral court games, it unlikely to provide much relief.

I like Butler to cruise in the second half and pull away from an outmatched Vandy squad.

Free Pick:  Butler Bulldogs -7