Our hot start to 2020 just won’t stop, as we picked up another win last night when we backed the nation’s number one team, the Baylor Bears, as they played in Florida, against the Gators, surprisingly enough, as two-point underdogs. I felt that the Gators just hadn’t shown me any ability to beat elite teams yet this season, and the fact that I was able to back arguably the best team in the country, and get points, was way too much value to pass up on.
? > ?
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 26, 2020
The Bears dominated from the tip, ran out to a double-digit lead by halftime, and had no problem handling the clearly outmatched Gators throughout, leading by as many as nineteen, and winning by eleven. This was one of those games where the line didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and after watching this game play out much as I thought it would, this was flat out just a miss by the books and a terrible number.
For Baylor, they continue to prove that they are the nation’s top team, and they will remain at number one in tomorrow’s AP Poll. The Bears have won sixteen straight games and with all of the drama going down at Kansas, are now the prohibitive favorites to win the Big 12 regular-season title.
For Florida, they continue to underachieve, and while the loss won’t be a blemish on their resume, the Gators need to find a way to compete with the best teams in the country, if they want to be considered a threat for a deep run in March.
Five of the Gator’s next six games come against some very weak competition. Florida needs to run the table during this winnable stretch of action to get their season back on track. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the Big 10, where the Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Michigan State Spartans.
- Michigan State Spartans (14-5) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-8)
- Williams Arena, Minneapolis
- 12:00 PM PST
- TV: FOX
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are looking to stay undefeated in Big 10 play at home today as they host the Michigan State Spartans. While the Gophers have struggled somewhat overall in league play, at home, they are an impressive 4-0 with wins over Ohio State, Northwestern, Michigan, and Penn State. While Minnesota has several quality wins, they are just 11-8 overall, and a win over the Spartans tonight would do wonders for their NCAA tournament resume.
Not so patiently waiting for 2:00pm. pic.twitter.com/HNJCiQH4Sv
— Minnesota Men's Basketball (@GopherMBB) January 26, 2020
For Michigan State, the Spartans have really struggled on the road in Big 10 play so far this year. In league road games, the Spartans are just 1-2, and they are 0-3 against the spread. Sparty started out the league play season with many of their games at home, and now in the second half of league action they are going to have to make up for it as they still have seven road games left on the schedule. They must find a way to win on the road, or their dreams of a high seed in the madness will disappear.
Michigan State Spartans
We all know that this Michigan State team is uber-talented, and they have all the makings of a team that could make a run to the Final Four. They have a great coach, a senior leader point guard superstar in Cassius Winston, and super athlete Xavier Tillman, that is a matchup nightmare and impossible to keep off the glass.
The quality wins are continuing to pile up as they have beaten top-100 teams like Seton Hall, Georgia, Rutgers, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. But their struggles away from the Breslin Center cannot be denied at this point.
They lost neutral site games in the non-conference to Kentucky and Virginia Tech, and they have lost back to back road games in Big 10 play to Purdue and Indiana. At home, they are 9-1, with the lone loss coming to a Duke team that seems on track to snatch a one seed in the tournament. Can they find a way to win as favorites today against a better than probably everyone thinks Golden Gophers team in hostile territory?
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Here is a complete list of teams that have played a tougher schedule than Minnesota this season, Kansas. That’s it. The Gophers have played an absolutely brutal schedule, and while their 11-8 record looks weak from a distance, when you look at who they have played, it’s remarkable they have a winning record. They have just one loss outside of the top-100 and that came to a decent Utah team way back in November.
Minnesota hasn’t lost to a team outside of the top-30 on kenpom since November. And when you look at the wins, they have shown they can compete with, and beat, some of the best teams in all of college basketball. Wins over Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma State, and Clemson are all quality wins.
Who Do I Like?
For those of you that read my daily picks often, you likely knew my pick in this one as soon as you saw the matchup. I have been hammering home dogs in the Big 10 all season long and winning at over a 90% rate with the play.
It has been nearly impossible for road teams to win in Big 10 league play this season. Outside of a couple of outliers, specifically Northwestern, Nebraska, and Ohio State, taking the home team in Big 10 play has been free money.
And this matchup is a perfect example of that home team dominance. Sparty has been awful on the road. They got blown out by a Purdue team that is barely above .500, they were getting blown out by Indiana before making a game of it late and still lost as favorites, and against Northwestern, they almost lost to a terrible Wildcats team, sneaking out with a tight win and no cover.
Michigan State just isn’t the same team on the road, and Minnesota is ready to shock the world in this one. Not only do I think they cover the three-point spread, I think they likely win the game outright. Daniel Oturu is the best player in the country you have never heard of, as the big man is going for twenty points and nearly twelve boards a game, and I expect him to dominate today at home.
I have always prescribed to an if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it mentality, and until I stop cashing tickets on home dogs in the Big 10, I won’t stop firing on them. Give me the Minnesota Golden Gophers today on their home floor, getting +3 points!