Creighton Bluejays vs. Villanova Wildcats College Basketball Picks, Predictions and Odds: Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Scott Spreitzer @scottwins, Dave Cokin @davecokin and Ralph Michaels @CalSportsLV look at the Vegas odds and give their college basketball expert picks and predictions on the game between Creighton Bluejays vs. Villanova Wildcats that will be played February 1, 6:30 PM from Wells Fargo Center.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Virginia Cavaliers College Basketball Picks, Predictions and Odds: Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Scott Spreitzer @scottwins, Dave Cokin @davecokin and Ralph Michaels @CalSportsLV look at the Vegas odds and give their college basketball expert picks and predictions on the game between Louisville Cardinals vs. Virginia Cavaliers that will be played January 31, 7:00 PM from John Paul Jones Arena.
Notre Dame visits Duke in an ACC conference tilt. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. ESPN Big Monday Free Pick: Irish and Blue Devils UNDER 150.
The Irish aim to break a five-game skid tonight but are the unfortunate club to enter Cameron Indoor with Duke off a home loss. The aforementioned loss by the Devils and Notre Dame’s injury woes put them in a position to do little more than to avoid a Cameron blowout tonight. The Irish are dealing with injuries to Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell and D.J. Harvey. And with that the Irish coaching staff may speak to event game-plans but in truth they are simply trying to find games in which they can compete and ultimately survive.
To Notre Dame’s defense they haven’t lost any one game during their current slide by more than 9-points. And their opponents during their recent scuffle have been against the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta and home losses to North Carolina, Louisville and Virginia Tech. In what was assumed to be a signature win early in the season, a one-point victory over ranked Wichita State, isn’t as impressive as it was back in November.
When the strength of a bad run comes via the defensive end of the floor and your are working a quick turnaround, a Saturday to Monday contest, playing at Cameron against a bigger and much more capable starting five, comprises the desire to survive.
Notre Dame is the only ACC team that plays three Saturday-Monday turnarounds with all of their Monday events on the road, tonight being the first of the three occasions.
For the Irish to compete tonight, and by compete I mean stay within double-digits of the Dukies throughout the game, they need a big defensive and offensive performance from senior center Martinas Geben. It is fair to state that Geben is having the best season of his college career. But without Colson and squaring off against a Duke team that is vastly more talented than the Irish it is safe to state that tonight is not the night that Geben steps up with a stellar performance. The matchup versus the Duke bigs doesn’t permit it.
Notre Dame doesn’t have a single go-to player due to their injured. And while Duke’s coach K is giving his starters big minutes in preparation for March the Devils top-seven are far more suited for 38 minutes of court time than that of the shorthanded Irish.
The Irish are on life support with no relief in sight. Notre Dame is without their top two scorers in Colson (21.4 PPG, 10.4 RPG) and Farrell (15.7 PPG). They can’t and will not be able to keep pace with Duke without their two best players. Hence their lone realistic chance of competing tonight is by slowing the pace and defending to the degree that Duke has an off-night with their shot selections.
The Irish coaching staff wholeheartedly learned on Saturday that they cannot get into a shootout with any team, especially the Blue Devils. Notre Dame is coming off an up and down the court event at home in which they allowed 80 points to Virginia Tech.
The lack of scoring threats among the healthy Irish and the understanding that the player personnel for Notre Dame can not engage in an up-tempo affair with the Devils favors an UNDER the TOTAL play tonight in Durham.
ESPN Big Monday Free Pick: Irish and Blue Devils UNDER 150
FINN BIG MONDAY 3-GAME REPORT (27-12)
Duke visits Pittsburgh for a league event that will be broadcast by ESPN2. The ACC event is scheduled to tipoff at 7:00 p.m. ET at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. College Basketball Free Pick: Blue Devils at Panthers.
Duke (-20, 155) coach Mike Krzyzewski and college basketball pundits have shown little concern about the Devils points allowed this season. After surrendering close to 100 points to a North Carolina State team the sixth-ranked Blue Devils take the “Pete” floor in what is one of the larger Power 5 Conference mismatches of the season.
Both schools are expected to start more freshman than upper-classmen tonight. However the difference in talent between those who wear Duke blue or Pittsburgh on their uniforms is significant. Senior swingman Grayson Allen (16.8 points, 4.3 assists) netted only eight points in the team’s loss this past weekend. The future NBA shooting guard has struggled in conference play. Allen is shooting a mere 33.3 percent in league games. That won’t be the case tonight against a young and undermanned Panthers troop.
Marvin Bagley III (22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds) is in line to dominate a smaller Pitt frontcourt. And while it is likely you will read reports that the Devils lack depth to dominate any ACC foe because of their current injuries simply isn’t accurate. Yes, Coach K is expected to be without injured frontcourt contributors Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier but the duo average less than 10-points per game combined.
Most noteworthy is to understand that the Pitt coaching staff is building for the future. Coach Kevin Stallings will start five freshmen for the third straight game. The Panthers could once again be without forward Ryan Luther (12.7 points, 10.1 rebounds) who has been inactive for two weeks due to a foot injury.
Furthermore Duke’s projected starting lineup tonight includes four freshmen. And while that combination typically results in defensive breakdowns the Devils are too much offensively for Pitt to handle. Duke has scored at least 84 points in each of its victories and rank second in the nation in scoring average at 94 points per game.
Also considering that an offensively challenged Miami of Florida squad defeated Pittsburgh by 14 points at the Pete, scoring just 67 in the double-digit win. Consequently even if the Pitt coaching staff are able to dress and activate 6’9” Luther for this league affair they simply don’t have the player personnel to matchup against the likes of the Duke frontcourt and the final score will offer evidence of such.
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