Oakland vs. Northern Kentucky Pick NCAA Basketball – January 20th

Maryland went on the road last night and handled Iowa to help us notch yet another college basketball winner.  The win pulls us to 47-26-1 ATS on the season and 11-4-1 ATS over the last two weeks.  It is a relatively blank slate of action tonight, as many Friday’s are throughout conference season, but things really ramp up again tomorrow.

The best performances of the night belonged to the West Coast powers, as nearly all were in action, and nearly all won in blowout fashion.  UCLA thrashed Arizona State and Gonzaga stayed perfect without breaking a sweat against Santa Clara.  But the game that piqued my curiosity was the 23-point beat down Oregon put on a decent Cal team, 86-63.  VERY quietly, Oregon is up to 16-2 and perfect since the return of Dillon Brooks.  Don’t sleep on Oregon.  This team was a #1 seed last year and could very well sneak their way back into the same conversation this season…

It’s Friday night – so that means it’s Horizon League time or else it’s time for some MAAC-tion!  But do not despair – it may not be scintillating television, but no reason we can’t steal another winner.

Today’s Free Pick:

Oakland Grizzlies -2 vs. Northern Kentucky Norse

Two weeks ago, Oakland was sitting pretty at 13-3 with a double-digit road win at Valpo (a loss that sunk the Crusaders last hopes at an at-large consideration) and were looking like the team to beat in the Horizon League.  Their three losses included a hard-fought loss at Michigan State and narrow losses to Nevada and Northeastern and wins over Georgia and Valpo.

Since then, they have dropped conference games at HOME to Detroit and Cleveland State, and with that, the sun has officially set on any hope of the Horizon being anything more than an auto-big league.

Meanwhile, NKU had no such grand ambitious as they are still acclimating to Division One and their rapid ascent from D2 power, to Atlantic Sun contender to Horizon League competitor.  It’s been a quick assent, but the Cincinnati Area sleeping giant is beginning to awake.  Already one of the larger schools in the Midwest, NKU is putting money into facilities and athletics and is starting to see some results.  The Norse are 3-3 in league play and a perfect 2-0 at home with wins over Youngstown State and Cleveland State by a combined 21 points.  Another win over one of the league’s better teams tonight wouldn’t be the least bit surprising.

NKU is 10-5 ATS this season and a nice 4-1 ATS at home, 3-0 ATS in their last three home games.  Oakland is just 7-9 ATS this season overall and 1-2 ATS in true road games (another problem, only three real road games all year?).

When things are close, I’ll take the home team and the points more often than not.  Give me NKU to get a big win for their growing program tonight over the recently-slumping Grizzlies.

Free Pick:  Northern Kentucky Norse +2

Chris Scheeren / Author