The Washington Huskies made us sweat it out last night, but in the end, we snuck in another winner when we backed Washington getting three and a half points, at home, against the Arizona Wildcats. Home dogs in league play are by far and away my favorite play to make, and when I saw the Huskies getting more than a full possession’s worth of points against an Arizona team that had yet to win a true road game this year, I jumped all over it.
The Huskies led in this game 72-71 with less than a minute left to play in the game. It looked like they were finally going to break through with a signature win and snap out of their recent funk that saw them lose seven out of their previous nine games. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be for the Huskies, as the Wildcats closed the game out on a 4-0 run in the game’s final minute and stole the win.
— Dave Heeke (@Dave_Heeke) January 31, 2020
But luckily for us, the public had backed Arizona and moved the number to Washington +3.5. The last-minute collapse may have cost Washington the game, but it didn’t cost us our bet, and we took the win by the half-point hook. The win can not be understated for Arizona, as they had to find a way to break through and beat teams on the road in league play, something that they hadn’t been able to do yet this season.
The loss was a devastating one for the Huskies as they are looking like they are going to be a very talented team that just can’t stay consistent enough to punch their dance tickets in March. At 2-7 in league play, it would take a miracle to get Washington back on track for an NCAA tournament birth. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the A-10, where Rhode Island hosts VCU.
- VCU Rams (16-5) at Rhode Island Rams (15-5)
- Ryan Center, Kingston
- 4:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPN 2
It is Rams on Rams violence tonight in Rhode Island as the Rhode Island Rams host the VCU Rams with second place in the A-10 on the line! Not many people considered Rhode Island a real threat in the A-10 this year after they started the season out by going just 8-5. But Rhody has things turned around now as the Rams have won seven straight games, all coming in league play, and are just a game back of Dayton for first place.
Game of Horns. Tonight | 7PM pic.twitter.com/mekxOh5DT9
— Rhody MBB (@RhodyMBB) January 31, 2020
For VCU, the Rams were the team that most people expected to compete with Dayton this year at the top of the A-10, but they have two early-season league losses, to Dayton and Rhode Island, and have dropped to third place in the league standings. After losing back to back games, the Rams have now won four straight conference games.
Rhode Island Rams
What a second-half turnaround it has been for the Rhode Island Rams. They picked up several losses in the non-conference that at the time didn’t look good, but looking back aren’t nearly as bad as we thought. Losses to LSU, West Virginia, and Maryland are looking better by the day as each of those three teams look poised for deep runs in March. And when you look back at who the Rams have beaten this season, they are starting to build up a very impressive resume.
The Rams have top-100 wins over Alabama, North Texas, Providence, Davidson, Duquesne, and VCU. The win over VCU was a shocker as it came on the road, and Rhody went into the game as a heavy underdog. In that first matchup, Rhode Island held VCU to just 31% shooting from the field and managed to get to the free-throw line twenty-two times, which is twice as many charity stripe attempts as VCU took.
I like this VCU Rams team. They do a good job of beating the teams they are supposed to beat, and they should do plenty to make sure that they hear their name called on Selection Sunday. But when you look at how they have fared against the best teams in the country, they have really struggled.
Against teams currently ranked in the top-60 on kenpom, the Rams are just 1-5. The lone win came all the way back in early November against an LSU team that has looked significantly better in league play than they did at the start of the year. When you look at their top-100 wins, besides LSU, they have only beaten North Texas and Richmond.
Who Do I Like?
I like the home team. For those of you that read my daily picks regularly, you know that I love backing home teams in conference play. This number opened up with Rhode Island -1-point. That seemed reasonable as kenpom has Rhode Island winning by two points. But the public has once again backed the road team and shifted this number two full points, to where it stands now, at VCU -1-point.
So, not only do I get to back a home team in league play, I get to back a home underdog, and pick up a point! Oh, and did I mentioned these teams just matched a couple of weeks ago and Rhode Island dominated both halves, and won the game by nine points, on the road no less?
I love being able to fade the public, and that is just what I will do in this one. I know that we can’t expect this game to play out exactly like the last one did, but even if these teams hadn’t just recently matched up, I would lean towards the home team.
Rhode Island has won seven straight games, and they have all the momentum in the world. At home this season, the Rams are 9-1, I think they find a way to continue that home-court dominance tonight. Give me the Rhode Island Rams getting a point at home tonight!