St Joe’s -2.5
You can still lay minus 2 at any Harrah’s property in Vegas. Coach Wade has done an OK job in his inaugural season at VCU but the Rams are just not the same type team without Shaka Smart running the show. Melvin Johnson has been a workhorse for VCU and is pumping in nearly 19 ppg and hitting 46% from behind the arc. He will be the focus of Phil Martelli’s defense as the Hawks need to slow Johnson down and keep him from getting in the zone. Korey Billbury is Johnson’s sidekick on offense and the Rams will look to him to pick up the slack if indeed the Hawks accomplish their goal on Johnson. St. Joe’s are led by Isaiah Miles ( 17 ppg/ 9 RB ) & DeAndre Bembry ( 16 ppg/ 8 RB ). The Hawks are (11-2) and always tough on their home court in Philly. VCU at ( 9-5 ) is capable of the road win no doubt but I’ll lay the low number with the home team. Hawks by 6-9 points in this one!
We will see exactly how good Scott Drew’s Bears are tonight in Waco. For the second time during the young season Baylor was embarrassed on the road, first at A&M then at Kansas. While the quality of road comp in those two games was elite, it was still disappointing to get blown off the floor early in both contests. After the loss at College Station the Bears regrouped with a 15 point win over a decent New Mexico State team. Tonight they get the Pokes of Oklahoma State who just found out that their catalyst and best 3-point shooter, Phil Forte will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Jeff Newberry has picked up the slack and comes off a great home effort in Stillwater in the 21 point rout of TCU. Ah…but such is life at home & on the road in Conference play. I expect the Bears to be re-focused and ready to jump on the Cowboys. Taurean Prince is a feast or famine leading scorer and tonight I think he has a huge game while teammate Rico Gathers who averages a double double should dominate the paint down low. That combo along with PG Lester Medford facilitating the ball to 3-point specialist Al Freeman should be a recipe for a double digit win for the Bears. If not, this could be a long season for Baylor. I think the Bears protect home court with a big time win!