Wednesday's Tip Sheet
December 6, 2017
By Brian Edwards
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**Loyola Chicago at Florida**
-- Florida (5-2 straight up, 4-3 against the spread) was undefeated after winning a 111-105 double-overtime thriller over Gonzaga in the semifinals of the PK80 Invitational at Moda Center in Portland over the Thanksgiving holidays. Then in the finals against top-ranked Duke, UF raced out to an 18-4 lead and led by 17 points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second half. However, the Gators allowed a 10-point advantage with 4:02 left to get away in an 87-84 setback. Making matters worse for UF backers, it failed to cover the spread as a 2.5-point underdog.
-- Florida couldn’t finish against the Blue Devils, but it never even got started in Monday’s embarrassing 83-66 loss to FSU as a nine-point home ‘chalk.’ The 149 combined points easily dropped ‘under’ the 164.5-point total. UF allowed the Seminoles to grab 23 offensive rebounds and it also committed 17 turnovers. Leonard Hamilton’s squad won outright as a +375 money-line ‘dog behind 15 points from Terance Mann. Junior Jalen Hudson had a team-best 16 points for the Gators, who were an abysmal 6-of-25 from 3-point range. Junior guard KeVaughn Allen added 15 points, but he went 1-of-6 from distance and had more turnovers (2) than assists (1).
-- Mike White’s third team at UF will be facing Loyola Chicago for the first time. The Gators are playing a Missouri Valley Conference representative for the first time on White’s watch. They have won five games in a row against foes from ‘The Valley.’
-- Florida has won three of its four home games while going 2-2 ATS. The Gators are ranked second in the nation in scoring, averaging 94.7 points per game. They are draining 3-balls at a 42.9 percent clip to rank 11th in the country. UF is 25th in the nation in free-throw percentage, hitting 77.4 percent of its attempts from the charity stripe.
-- Four UF players are producing double-figures scoring numbers led by Hudson, who is averaging 20.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The transfer from Va. Tech sat out last season, but he’s making a team-high 53.8 percent of his shots from the field and 46.7 percent of his launches from downtown. Hudson scored a career-high 35 points vs. Gonzaga and had 26 vs. New Hampshire. Florida is getting major contributions from Egor Koulechov, a grad transfer from Rice who is averaging 16.7 points and 6.6 RPG. Koulechov has a 19/7 assists-to-turnovers ratio, in addition to burying 42.5 percent of his 3’s and 95.7 percent of his FTs.
-- Allen is scoring at a 13.7 PPG clip and has twice as many assists (16) compared to turnovers (4), but the Little Rock, Ark., product has made just 36.5 percent of his FGs and only 31.7 percent of his attempts from long distance. Chris Chiozza, UF’s senior point guard that sent it to the Elite Eight with a buzzer-beating jumper to clip Wisconsin in overtime at last year’s Sweet 16 at MSG in NYC, is averaging 11.7 points, 6.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. True freshman Deaundrae Ballard (8.3 PPG) has provided offensive scoring punch off the bench, while starting center Kevarrius Hayes (4.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG) leads the Gators in steals (1.5 SPG) and blocked shots (2.2 BPG).
-- As of early this morning, most betting shops had Florida installed as a 15-point favorite with a total of 151.5. The Gators are 3-1 ATS in four games as double-digit ‘chalk’ this year.
-- Before losing to FSU, UF was ranked in eighth at KenPom.com, but it had dropped to No. 17 in those rankings. The Gators are fifth in the Associated Press’s poll but will be falling from that perch early next week. They’re No. 66 in the RPI Rankings.
-- Loyola Chicago (8-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) is in its seventh season of Porter Moser’s tenure. The Ramblers made its first postseason appearance since 1985 when they made the CBI two seasons ago. Then last year, Moser’s club finished 18-10 with victories over Washington State and San Diego State.
-- Loyola Chicago darted out to a 7-0 record before getting smashed 87-53 by Boise State at Taco Bell Arena last week. The Ramblers were routed as four-point underdogs, their only spot as ‘dogs so far this year before tonight. Senior forward Aundre Jackson scored 14 points to pace the winners, while Clayton Cluster finished with 12 points, three steals and four assists without a turnover.
-- Loyola Chicago is No. 83 in the RPI Rankings, but it hasn’t beaten an opponent ranked higher than No. 173 in the RPI. The Ramblers’ loss came to 39th-ranked BSU. They’re No. 89 at KenPom.com.
-- Since defeating Wright State 84-80 in its opener, Loyola Chicago has won its seven games by double-digit margins, including an 85-61 win over Illinois-Chicago this past Saturday as an eight-point home ‘chalk.’ Jackson was the catalyst for the winners with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the floor in just 21 minutes of playing time. Lucas Williamson added 14 points from off the bench on just five shots (four makes), including 3-of-4 shooting from downtown.
-- Jackson is averaging team-highs in scoring (13.8 PPG), FG percentage (66.7%) and 3-pointer shooting (55.6%). Donte Ingram (12.3 PPG) is pulling down a team-best 6.9 RPG. Custer (13.4 PPG) has dished out a team-best 39 assists compared to 14 turnovers. He is hitting 85.7 percent of his FTs. Marques Townes (13.4 PPG) is draining 55.6 percent of his FGs and 45.5 percent of his 3’s.
-- The ‘over’ was a perfect 5-0 for UF until the ‘under’ appeared in Monday’s home loss to FSU. The ‘over’ is 2-1 for the Gators in their three lined home outings.
-- The ‘over’ has hit in back-to-back games for the Ramblers to improve to 5-1 overall. The ‘over’ was a winner in their only true lined road assignment.
-- The SEC Network will provide the broadcast from Exatech Arena/O’Connell Center at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.
**Washington at Kansas**
-- Kansas will take on Washington at its second home in Kansas City at Sprint Center tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. As of early this morning, most books had Kansas (7-0 straight up, 5-1 against the spread) installed as a 20.5-point favorite with a total of 158.5. The Jayhawks were able to play in KC at this venue in last year’s Midwest Region semifinals and finals, but Oregon thumped them 74-60 in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four.
-- Bill Self’s team is off of Saturday’s 76-60 win over Syracuse as a 10-point favorite at American Airlines Arena, the home of the Miami Heat. Senior guard Devonte’ Graham exploded for 35 points against the Orange, draining 7-of-13 bombs from 3-point land. He also dished out five assists and had two steals. Lagerald Vick, a junior guard, produced 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
-- KU is a perfect 5-0 ATS as a double-digit favorite this season. The Jayhawks are 4-0 both SU and ATS at home. Graham leads the team in scoring (18.6 PPG), assists (8.0 APG) and steals (2.3 SPG).
-- KU is ranked second at KenPom.com, second in the AP and fourth in the RPI. The Jayhawks beat Kentucky by a 65-61 count in Chicago earlier this year, and they also own a 98-64 home win over South Dakota State (RPI #59), a team that won outright at Ole Miss and was tied late in the second half at Wichita State last night.
-- Kansas is ranked seventh in the country in scoring (91.9 PPG), third in FG percentage (53.5%) and seventh in 3-point percentage (43.5%).
-- Washington (6-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) is No. 119 in the RPI, posting quality home victories over UC Davis (77-70) and Belmont (86-82). UC Davis is No. 22 in the RPI, while Belmont is No. 89.
-- Washington is playing its first true road game of the season and in the tenure of Mike Hopkins, the first-time head coach who was a player for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse before serving as his assistant for two decades.
-- Washington took its defeats to Providence (77-70) and Virginia Tech (103-79) on back-to-back days at MSG in NYC during mid-November. The Huskies are 2-0 ATS with one outright win in a pair of games as underdogs this year. They won outright over Belmont as two-point puppies and took the cash as eight-point ‘dogs in the loss to the Friars.
-- UW is led by true freshman guard Jaylen Nowell’s 17.9 PPG average. His making 52.0 percent of his FGs and 83.8 percent of his FTs. Nowell has 21 assists and 14 teals through eight games. Noah Dickerson, a true junior power forward who originally signed with Florida as a four-star prospect before being granted his release when Billy Donovan left UF or the Oklahoma City Thunder, is averaging 16.4 points and 8.0 RPG while shooting at a team-high 67.2 percent clip from the field.
-- The ‘under’ is 4-2 overall for KU, 2-0 in its two neutral-court contests. The ‘under’ has cashed in three straight for the Jayhawks regardless of the venue.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Former Kentucky star Allen Edwards once played for Frank Martin at Miami Senior High School, the same prep program that once churned out college basketball phenoms like Allen’s older brothers (Doug at FSU and Steve at Miami), Jose Ramos (Florida), Brent Wright (Florida), Udonis Haslem (Florida), Gimel Martinez (Kentucky), Anthony Grant (player and current head coach at Dayton) and Steve Blake (Maryland). The Stingarees’ football program has produced big names like Roscoe Parris (Miami), Andre Jackson (Miami), Marquand Manuel (Florida & current Falcons DC), Lindy Infante (Florida and eventual head coach of Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts) and Eddie Brown (Miami). This school also produced former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Whatever the case, what I’m trying to get to is Edwards will bring his Wyoming team to Columbia tonight to face Martin’s South Carolina squad at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on the SEC Network’s Alternate Channel. The Cowboys were nine-point road underdogs early this morning.
-- Another key matchup tonight will go down at Coleman Coliseum, where Alabama will play host to Rhode Island. As of early this morning, the Crimson Tide was favored by 2.5-points with a total of 145.5. Avery Johnson’s team is 6-1 with wins over La. Tech, BYU, UT-Arlington and Memphis. The Tide, No. 14 in the RPI, also has a win over Lipscomb (86-64), which is No. 48 in the RPI. They took their only losses to Minnesota (89-84 on neutral court) and UCF in Tuscaloosa (65-62). Collin Sexton, ‘Bama’s five-star freshman who is a likely lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is averaging 22.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 SPG. He scored 40 in the loss to the Gophers, but he was held to a season-low seven points in Sunday’s loss to the Knights.
-- With Georgia and Winthrop tied 74-74 with less than three minutes remaining Tuesday night in Athens, prized UGA freshman recruit Rayshaun Hammonds drilled a 3-points from the top of the key to untie the game and help the Bulldogs pull away for an 87-82 win. Mark Fox’s team failed to cover the 11.5-point number at home at Stegeman Coliseum, but it improved to 7-1 nonetheless. Senior power forward Yante Maten produced 25 points and 11 rebounds, while William ‘Turtle’ Jackson finished with 14 points and seven assists for the Bulldogs, who won at Marquette this past weekend.
-- Nebraska beat Minnesota 78-68 Tuesday night as a nine-point underdog, hooking up money-line supporters with a payout in the +375 neighborhood (paid $375 on $100 wagers).
-- Wisconsin got off to a miserable 3-5 start, but it picked up a nice road win Monday at Penn State. The Badgers can get back to .500 with a win tonight at Temple. The Badgers were four-point road underdogs to the Owls early this morning.
-- Nevada saw its perfect 8-0 record both SU and ATS stained in Tuesday’s 82-76 overtime loss at Texas Tech as a 5.5-point road underdog.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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