Our hot week continued last night as we picked up our seventh win in our last nine bets, when we backed the Maryland Terrapins on the road, against Michigan State. I have bet against the Spartans at least a dozen times this year, and I am getting rich fading Tom Izzo’s squad. I promise I am not a Michigan State hater, but the betting market is valuing them far too highly at this point.
When I saw that I could get the Terrapins, a team that is in first place in the Big 10 and is ranked in the top-10 in both major polls, getting seven points, against a Michigan State team that had lost three out of its previous four games, I laughed at how bad of a number that was. I mentioned in my pick yesterday that there might not be a team in the country I wouldn’t back Maryland against right now, getting seven points.
The game started out with Maryland taking an eight-point halftime lead, and they stretched the lead out to double-digits in the second half. The Spartans made a run late in the second half and took the lead, and we started to sweat this one just a little bit. But in the end, the Spartans ran out of gas and allowed Maryland to finish the game on a 14-0 run to win the game outright.
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) February 16, 2020
Anthony Cowan Jr. scored nine points in just over a minute of play, nailing three straight three-pointers to give Maryland the huge upset win on the road. The win keeps the Terps in sole possession of first place in the Big 10, as Maryland continues to make a case for a one seed in the NCAA tournament. Maryland has now won eight straight games.
For Michigan State, the Spartans are in free fall all of the sudden as they have now lost four out of their last five games, including back to back home games. While I don’t see the Spartans falling all the way out of the NCAA tournament picture, they need to find a way to stop the bleeding soon, if they don’t want to drop down to a double-digit seed.
Sparty still has road games left on the schedule against Penn State and Maryland, as well as losable games against Ohio State and Iowa at home. If this team finishes the season with three or four more losses, they are going to be right on the bubble. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to Boise State, where the Broncos are hoping to play themselves onto the right side of the bubble as they host the undefeated San Diego State Aztecs.
- San Diego State Aztecs (25-0) at Boise State Broncos (17-9)
- ExtraMile Arena, Boise
- 1:00 PM PST
- TV: CBSS
The undefeated San Diego State Aztecs take their show on the road tonight to Boise, looking to keep their quest for a one seed alive. The Aztecs are looking for the first undefeated season in team history, and at 25-0, they are the only undefeated team left in the nation. The Aztecs have a five-game lead over four different teams all tied for second place in the Mountain West Conference.
The day has arrived!
Wear ⚪️⚪️ and be LOUD ??
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) February 16, 2020
One of those teams are the Broncos of Boise State. It would take a big finish for Boise to play themselves onto the right side of the bubble, but if they could find a way to end the Aztecs reign of terror, it would certainly be a resume-building victory that would go a long way on Selection Sunday. The Broncos have won six out of their last seven games, and they are 7-0 at home in conference play.
San Diego State Aztecs
Just how good is this San Diego State team right now? We all know that they are the class of the Mountain West Conference, as they have already locked up the regular-season league title with just four games left on their schedule and a five-game lead. But this team has much higher aspirations, most notably, a one seed into the NCAA tournament and a national championship.
The Aztecs showed they could beat good teams in the non-conference when they picked up wins over BYU, Creighton, Iowa, and Utah. And in league play, they have steamrolled the competition. Utah State started out the year ranked in the top-25, and while they haven’t lived up to those lofty preseason expectations that had them as league favorites, the Aggies are a very talented team, and SD State blew them out by double-digits in both of their meetings this season.
Boise State Broncos
When you look at the full body of work for Boise State, this team would need a miracle to go dancing in March. They did beat Utah State at home in overtime a couple of weeks back, and that was a nice win, and they did pick up a win over BYU early in the year before Yoeli Childs was on the floor for the Cougars. Besides that, quality wins have been hard to come by for Boise. Ten of the Broncos wins have come to teams outside of the top-200.
But if, and that is a mighty big if, the Broncos can knock off San Diego State tonight at home, they would at least get mentioned in the conversation for an at-large bid. They would likely have to then make a run to the finals of the MWC tournament, beating either Utah State or San Diego State along the way to really get strong consideration, but if they can win tonight, there is a reasonable path to the madness for the Broncos.
Who Do I Like?
You can count on one hand how many times I have laid wood on the road in the conference play this season. Laying points against home teams in league play is a precarious position at best, much of the time. And while it isn’t a play that I go to often, I am going to use it today.
When these teams played in San Diego, the game wasn’t competitive. The Aztecs took a twenty-three-point lead in the first half and led by twenty-one with less than ten minutes left to play in the game before they called off the wolves and coasted in for an eighteen-point victory. The Aztecs forced seventeen turnovers and used those to create easy buckets in transition and ran up the score.
How much is the Broncos home floor worth? I don’t think it is worth enough to sway this game from being an absolute blowout to a competitive game. And at just five and a half points, that is what would need to happen for the Broncos to find a cover at home. Kenpom has the Aztecs winning this one by eight, and to be honest, I am quite surprised the public hasn’t fired hard on San Diego State.
Laying wood on the road is a stereotypical public play, and to see this line remain stagnant at the opener of just five and a half points, means we can back the Aztecs and not lay too many points. And that is just what we will do tonight. Give me the San Diego State Aztecs as they continue their road dominance tonight in Boise State, against an overmatched Broncos team.