Gonzaga vs. Notre Dame
Betting Pick: Notre Dame +11.5 -110 odds (November 30th 2011)
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Notre Dame comes into this game undervalued after their “slow” 5-2 start. Meanwhile, 19th-ranked Gonzaga is certainly overvalued at this point in the season after their 4-0 start. I’ll side with the double-digit dog Irish in this one. Both of Notre Dame’s losses have come against quality opponents in Missouri and Georgia. This tough early schedule will benefit the Irish going forward, especially here tonight. The Bulldogs have yet to play a real quality opponent, yet two of their four wins have been by single-digits. This is a quality team, but they shouldn’t be favored by double-digits against the Irish. Even without Tim Abromaitis, who is lost for the season, Notre Dame still has a quality nucleus. The Irish have three players scoring in double-figures in G Eric Atkins (15.4 PPG, 4.2 APG), G Jerian Grant (13.4 PPG, 4.9 APG) and G Scott Martin (11.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG). Look for the Irish to go with five-guard lineups at times and to push the tempo. Gonzaga is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games after two straight wins by 15 points or more. The Bulldogs are 11-24 ATS in their last 35 home games versus good defensive teams – allowing
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Wake Forest vs. Nebraska
College Basketball Pick: Nebraska -12.5 (November 30th 2011)
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The Huskers have been a very good home team in recent years, and the Demon Deacons are about to find out just how good this evening. This is Wake’s first true road game of the season, and it has had very little time to prepare for it. It will also be feeling the effects of playing its 4th game in 7 days. Nebraska, meanwhile, has had three full days to rest up and prepare for this contest. It hasn’t been wise to back the Demon Deacons when catching 10 points or more. In fact, they are just 18-34 ATS in their last 52 games as an underdog of 10 or more points. They are 12-25 ATS in their last 37 road games as an underdog of 10 or more points, losing these contests by an average of 17.5 points. The Demon Deacons are also a lousy 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games, 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games as a road underdog of 7.0-12.5 points and 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS win. Take Nebraska.
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Florida State vs. Michigan State
Betting Pick: Florida State +6 -110 odds (November 30th 2011)
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Florida St. is coming off two losses in the Bahamas in back-to-back nights but we can expect a bounceback tonight. The Seminoles were held in check against a very strong Harvard team as they actually outshot the Crimson but made 13 fewer free throws which ended up being the difference. They were taken to overtime the next night against Connecticut after the Huskies hit three clutch free throws at the end of regulation to tie the score and Florida St. missed several opportunities late in overtime.
Michigan St has won four straight games after starting the season with back-to-back losses against North Carolina and Duke. The Spartans have played no one of significance since then so this is their first real test since that tough opening. They are coming off a 32-point win on the road at Eastern Michigan and while the last four games have been blowouts, the Spartans are not shooting the ball well, hitting just 42.2 percent of their shots. That is not a sign coming into this game.
Florida St. is known for defense and that is certainly the case again here as it has held each of its seven opponents this season below 50 percent shooting and going back further it has held 105 of its last 108 opponents below 50 percent shooting from the field. This season the Seminoles are 10th in shooting defense, allowing just 33.7 percent from the floor. This defense, along with balance, will keep them around in nearly every game this season which makes points a premium, favoring the underdog.
The Spartans used to be one of the best free throw shooting teams in the nation but dipped to 142nd in the country last year and this season they are hitting just 63.9 percent from the stripe, which is good for 246th. Michigan State is just above 60 percent at home. This is the first true road game for Florida St. but it has had winning road records in each of the last three years so it is not a concern. The Spartans are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games following a win by 30 or more points. 3* (761) Florida St. Seminoles -Matt Fargo