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Reply To: CBB • Wednesday Service Plays • 12/2/15

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1-Unit Play. Take #521 St. Bonaventure (-2)
over Buffalo (7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
The Bonnies have gone 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games and they are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall. St. Bonaventure easily beat the Bulls last year and they have won in this series four of the last five years. Buffalo is coming off a three-game winning streak. But I am still not a big believer in this team. They are missing Justin Moss right now and I think that St. Bonaventure’s guards will own the perimeter and control this game. Take the favorite here.

1-Unit Play. Take #527 Hofstra (-2.5)
over LaSalle (7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)

2-Unit Play. Take #529 Butler (+6)
over Cincinnati (7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)

2-Unit Play. Take #563 Indiana (+10)
over Duke (9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
This Duke team is not as good as people think that it is. You are always taking your life into your hands betting against the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor. But even last year they lost some home games and that was a much better team than this year’s crop. The Blue Devils lost to a big, but not necessarily skilled, Kentucky team and the Devils really weren’t super impressive against VCU or Georgetown, two teams that I think will struggle to get a sniff of the NCAA Tournament. I will be the first one to admit that Indiana is a gutless team of cowards. They don’t play defense – at all – and they are sketchy as hell. But, honestly, I had felt similarly about North Carolina and Maryland and last night we saw what happens when top-end talent comes to play on a big stage. Indiana has top-end talent. There’s no doubt about that. And if they start hitting shots then they can keep this game competitive. I think that this is too many points to lay out and the Hoosiers should be able to make this number stick.

1-Unit Play. Take #565 BYU (+8.5)
over Utah (10 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)

2-Unit Play. Take #538 Michigan State (-5.5)
over Louisville (7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
Louisville has played less than no one this year. Their best two wins have come over North Florida and St. Louis. Michigan State is the best team in the country and they already have wins over serious teams like Kansas and Providence. The Spartans get this one at home and the Izzone should be rocking. I don’t think that Louisville is very good this year. I don’t think their pressure is going to bother the Spartans and I don’t think they will be able to defend Michigan State for a full 40 minutes. Yes, Michigan State might be a little jetlagged after playing three games in four nights out in California. But that’s cancelled out a bit by the fact that Louisville is playing its first road game of the year and is outclassed.

2-Unit Play. Take #545 DePaul (-6)
over Illinois-Chicago (8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
DePaul is a massive group of losers. They are one of the worst programs in college basketball. They also haven’t played in over a week, since returning from the Virgin Islands, where they were embarrassed twice and then barely beat Norfolk State. But Illinois-Chicago is so shockingly bad that it really shouldn’t matter in this game. DePaul at least has some real live college basketball players on the roster. UI-C is kind of a glorified D-II team. They lost by 27 against Western Illinois. They lost by 21 to Drake. Five of their top seven players are freshmen and they are one of the worst offensive teams in the country. DePaul played a similar road game last year – against a regional team ranked in the 300’s, on the road, the first week of December – and they beat Chicago State by 24. These two teams played in the opener last year. DePaul was winning by 16 before blowing the lead, naturally, and only winning by one. UI-C has two of their top six guys back from that team. DePaul has three of its top four. The Blue Demons are just much better than the Flames. And they should win this one easily.

1-Unit Play. Take #548 Vanderbilt (-21)
over Detroit (8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
I do not expect a letdown out of Vanderbilt after their trip to Maui. They’ve had a week to get things back in order. And I think that their run to the title game there will have given them a lot of confidence. Detroit has only played one game against D-I competition in the last two weeks and that was a loss at Oral Roberts over the weekend. They are small and they aren’t great defensively. And Vandy is really going to be able to get whatever it wants offensively. The Commodores beat Austin Peay by 39, Gardner Webb by 36, and St. John’s by 27 this year so they have shown that extra gear. I think they will bury the Titans in this one.

3-Unit Play. Take #551 SMU (-6)
over TCU (8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
This one all comes down to whether or not Nic Moore plays. He is one of the four or five best point guards in the country and missed Sunday’s game with a broken finger. The SMU coach said he could’ve played if necessary, though, and I don’t think he’ll hold Moore back here. If Moore plays then SMU is going to wax TCU because the Horned Frogs suck. Even if he doesn’t, freshman point guard Shake Milton should be good enough to steer the ship here. Look, SMU can’t play in the postseason. So they are going to max out in the regular season. And a rivalry game against a fellow city school is reason enough to press a bit. SMU plays New Hampshire on Saturday so they can rest guys after this game. TCU hasn’t played in a week and they could have a letdown after their trip to Mexico. They los to South Dakota State and Rhode Island there, two teams that are definitely worse than SMU. The Horned Frogs are young and have too many scoring droughts. And against a great SMU defense they will struggle to put points on the board. Again, if Moore plays then this one isn’t even a question. If he doesn’t, I still think SMU’s stacked post and experience is good enough to get a rivalry win.

1-Unit Play. Take #559 Notre Dame (-2.5)
over Illinois (9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)

1-Unit Play. Take #561 Florida State (+5.5)
over Iowa (9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)

3-Unit Play. Take #568 Oregon State (-14)
over LMU (10 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
The Beavers have had a week to think about their loss to Valpo. I don’t think they are happy about it. At all. And I think they will take it out on a bad Loyola Marymount team. Oregon State beat a really good Iona team by 20 here in Corvallis and they also won at UC-Santa Barbara by 12. Both of those teams are much, much, much better than LMU. This same Loyola Marymount team lost at UC-Irvine by 24 and barely escaped some bad Cal State teams. LMU is weak offensively. And that’s going to be a problem against an exceptional Oregon State defensive team. A better Loyola team got smoked against Pac-12 teams on the road last year, losing at Arizona State by 24 and at USC by 16. Wayne Tinkle is a really good coach and he’s going to have his talented, angry team ready to play in this one. It should be an early knockout.

2-Unit Play. Take #574 Houston (-7)
over Murray State (8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
This number jumped out at me. I like this Houston team. They aren’t fully healthy yet. But they have some high-major transfers in Damyean Dotson and Ronnie Johnson that are really good. They have some nice size and a solid coach in Kelvin Sampson. They are facing a Murray State team that is still figuring a lot of things out. They have a new coach, they are playing small, and they don’t play nearly as well or as aggressively on the road. They got bombed by Weber State and by Georgia, both by double-digits, playing on the road and Murray State has a more appealing game coming up this weekend against Evansville. The public is going to pounce on Murray State simply out of habit. But this team is not as good as the teams we’ve seen from them the last few years and I think Houston will get the job done here.

2-Unit Play. Take #579 East Tennessee State (+2)
over Tennessee Tech (7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
The wrong team is favored here. Tennessee Tech has five wins, but two of them have come against D-II schools and none of the others have come against teams ranked in the Top 225. East Tennessee State is very experienced and they have played a really tough schedule to this point, beating two teams (Green Bay and Georgia Tech) that are much better than Tennessee Tech. East Tennessee State is leaning on some high-major transfers (Ge’Lawn Guyn, Deuce Bello and Peter Jurkin) and those guys are better than anyone the Golden Eagles are packing. I think they win a high-scoring game outright.

1-Unit Play. Take #589 Sacramento State (+5.5)
over UC-Davis (10 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
This is a revenge game for UC-Davis, which lost at Sac State last week. But I just think that Sacramento State is better than UC-Davis and I don’t think this Davis team should be favored against anyone. They just lost way too much from last year. The Hornets have road wins over Arizona State and Seattle so they can get things done away from home. I guess I just don’t see any reason why this game would go differently than last Tuesday’s affair and I really don’t think that the change in value is worth this much on the spread.

3-Unit Play. Take #594 Mississippi State (-11.5)
over Texas Southern (8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)
Texas Southern has 20-point losses at New Mexico, at Creighton and at Clemson. I think Mississippi State is in that stratosphere. TSU also lost by 12 at Washington State, had to fly home to Texas, and then had to head over to Mississippi for what is their sixth road game in seven attempts this season. A much better Texas Southern team than this (they went to the NCAA Tournament last year) lost by at least 15 points at Eastern Washington, at Indiana, at SMU, at Baylor, at Florida and at Gonzaga last year. They are used to being sacrificial lambs. Mississippi State has won its last two games by blowouts against teams that are better than TSU and they also have an 18-point home win over Eastern Washington. So they have blasted bad teams this. Texas Southern doesn’t have a guy taller than 6-5 playing tonight and Miss State at least has SEC athletes to throw at the visitors, if not an overly skilled roster. Mississippi State should win this one comfortably.

1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #553 Tulsa (+8.5) AND Take #561 Florida State (+10.5)

1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #551 SMU (-1) AND Take #538 Michigan State (-0.5)

1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #594 Mississippi State (-6.5) AND Take #529 Butler (+11)

1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #563 Indiana (+15) AND Take #545 DePaul (-1)

1-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #579 East Tennessee State (+7) AND Take #539 Wisconsin (+9.5)

1-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 134.5
Wisconsin at Syracuse (7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2)

Carpe diem. Good luck.