Washington vs. Cal Pick NCAA Hoops – Jan 2nd

St. Mary’s did what they always do; beat Pepperdine, yesterday to give us a third straight college hoops victory. We will try to keep the nice run going on into the New Year today, despite a pretty sparse slate of college hoops action.

Things get much more interesting tomorrow with every major conference in action. The AAC, ACC, Big East, Big Twelve, Big Ten and SEC all have good games going starting as early as noon EST, so be sure to check lines early tomorrow for a big day of action. At noon alone you have SMU @ Cincinnati, Villanova @ Seton Hall, Kansas State @ Oklahoma State and Minnesota @ Maryland. That’s one heck of a start to the day (not to mention all the NFL Playoff action tomorrow as well). The day keeps rolling with Baylor @ Oklahoma, Virginia taking their undefeated mark to a tough Miami squad, and Clemson trying to end a million-year losing streak against the visiting North Carolina Tar Heels. It’s going to be a great weekend of college hoops, so let’s try to get a jump start tonight with a Pac-12 matchup and try to notch a fourth straight winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Washington Huskies @ Cal Bears -1

Washington was the toast of the town and undefeated and ranked #13 in the country. Then they took a stunning loss to Stony Brook and all the concerns over the validity of their record resurfaced in a hurry. Tonight they will try to show that loss was simply a really bad night as they travel to Berkley to take on a Cal team looking for a validating win.

Cal may not be undefeated, entering at 10-3, but the same questions about the validity of their record are fair. Losses to Texas and Wisconsin are nothing to be ashamed of, but their mot recent game, a loss to Cal State Bakersfield is a tough one to ignore. The fact this line tonight opened at -2.5 and shrunk to -1 is more an indication that any shaking of confidence from Washington’s Stony Brook loss was undone by Cal’s even worse loss to Bakersfield.

Washington is still a pretty good team. They are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games. Cal, meanwhile, is just 2-4-1 ATS. Cal is still missing Jabari Bird, which is a tough absence as the schedule gets tougher. They will be a better team once he arrives but for tonight, they will be a little undermanned against a Washington team that will be eager to show that their lone loss was a fluke rather than an exposing of serious deficiencies. I like Washington to grab an impressive road win tonight.

Free Pick: Washington Huskies +1

Chris Scheeren / Author