It has been a pretty slow few days in college hoops (and I have taken the day off from writing, as there just weren’t any real games worth highlighting, though I should have offered up Cal laying ten against Davidson who are now minus-86 in their three games against top 50 teams). But don’t tell Elon College nothing was going on last night. The Phoenix saw Duke throw in SEVENTY in the FIRST HALF for the most prolific offensive half in the illustrious history of Duke basketball. Ouch.
Not saying this makes the Dukies any more or less of a threat nationally, but it was a pretty fun display to watch. Now, let’s see if they can make similar strides in conference play and shake off two early pre-conference defeats…
There’s a pretty decent slate of hoops today with a few conference games starting like SMU/Tulsa, Purdue/Wisconsin and Michigan St./Iowa. There are also a few fun non-conference games like Florida/Florida St, Wake Forest/LSU and Texas/UConn. (Note: No official line is posted yet – but I have seen a few speculate that Iowa will open as a three point favorite. I really like them to win tonight at home against #1 Michigan State – if it is anywhere in the Iowa -3 range, I am on that game as well)
Today’s Free Pick:
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at LSU Tigers -7
To say LSU has been a disappointment thus far this season would be an understatement. The Tigers came into the season ranked and dreaming of a possible Final Four behind the nation’s most talented player, Ben Simmons. Simmons has been amazing, solidifying his status as the presumptive number one pick in the upcoming draft, but the team around him has faltered. LSU enters at just 7-4 overall and 3-7 ATS. They have won and covered their last three games after an 0-7 start, but the wins have come over American, Oral Roberts and Gardner Webb.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest has very quietly cobbled together a nice pre-ACC performance. They enter at 8-3 with wins over Indiana and UCLA as well as secondary wins over Rutgers and Arkansas. They had #6 Xavier on the ropes, leading big at halftime before getting overwhelmed by a far superior team. They may not be quite ready to compete in the top half of the ACC, but Danny Manning’s team is no pushover any longer.
It’s hard to lay seven points on a team that has already lost straight up to College of Charleston and given up 105 points in a loss to Houston. Yes, Ben Simmons is amazing, but that may have a lot to do with the inflated lines that have surrounded the Tigers this season. One player, as brilliant as he may be, does not equate a winning team in 2015-2016. Look for Wake to compete all night and really push LSU for 40 minutes. No way I am laying over a half dozen.