Wednesday's Tip Sheet
December 13, 2017
By Brian Edwards
Editor's note: Brian Edwards has hit hit four consecutive guaranteed plays and has done so easily. With winners on UC-MSU 'under' 138 (combined for 115), Arizona St. +11 at KU (ASU won by 10), Arkansas -4.5 vs. Minnesota (Arky won by 16) and ASU -4.5 vs. St. John's (ASU won by 12), Brian has cashed those tickets by margins of 23, 21, 11.5 and 7.5 points (63 combined points!). He would be on a 5-0 run if Nevada had covered as a 5.5-point underdog in an overtime loss by six at Texas Tech last week. Don't miss out on tonight's pay-if-it-wins-only selection to collect more greenbacks!
**Villanova at Temple**
-- This City of Brotherly Love rivalry renews Wednesday night at the Liacouras Center, where Temple will play host to undefeated and top-ranked Villanova at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. The Wildcats were elevated to the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press’s national rankings after Duke went down this past Saturday at Boston College. This is the third straight season in which they have spent time atop the AP poll.
-- On his teams’ ascension to No. 1, head coach Jay Wright said, “It’s always an honor to be ranked No. 1. It’s great for the ‘Nova Nation and we appreciate the respect of the writers and coaches. We know it’s early, though, and we need to get a lot better.”
-- Multiple offshore betting shops opened Villanova (10-0 straight up, 7-3 against the spread) as a seven-point road favorite.
-- Villanova is off a 77-68 win over LaSalle as a 19.5-point home favorite. The Wildcats failed to cover the number, ending a 5-0 ATS tear. Phil Booth scored 18 points to go with five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. The senior guard drained 3-of-4 launches from 3-point range. Donte DiVincenzo produced 18 points, 10 rebounds, three rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Jalen Brunson finished with 17 points and seven assists compared to merely one turnover.
-- Villanova is 2-0 ATS in a pair of single-digit favorite situations this season. The Wildcats are 1-0 ATS in their only road game to date, easily taking the money in a 94-53 win at St. Joseph’s as 14-point road ‘chalk.’
-- Mikal Bridges is averaging team-bests in scoring (18.1 points per game) and steals (2.1 SPG). The junior forward is averaging 6.4 rebounds per game and is second on the team in blocks with 13. Brunson (17.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG) averages team-highs in assists (4.8 APG) and FG percentage (62.0%). He has a stellar 48/13 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Booth (12.7 PPG, 2.7 APG) is averaging 1.2 steals per game and is draining 42.6 percent of his 3-pointers. DiVincenzo (11.8 PPG) is averaging 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals per contest.
-- Temple (6-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) is undefeated in a pair of home games with a 0-1-1 spread record. Both home games were played this past week vs. Wisconsin and St. Joe’s. The Owls captured a 59-55 win over Wisconsin as four-point home favorites last Wednesday. Then on Saturday, they won an 81-78 decision over the Hawks as 10.5-point home favorites. Shizz Alston Jr. paced the winners with 20 points thanks to 5-of-8 shooting from downtown. Quinton Rose produced 15 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one blocked shot. Josh Brown added 13 points, six boards and four assists without a turnover.
-- Alston led the way against Wisconsin, too, scoring a game-high 22 points while also dishing out four assists compared to only one turnover. Obi Enechionyia contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
-- Rose is averaging team-bests in rebounding (6.1 RPG), FG percentage (50.9%) and steals (1.9 SPG). He and Alston share team-high scoring honors, with both players scoring at a 17.2 PPG clip. Alston is burying 48.9 percent of his shots from the field, a remarkable 53.5 percent of his 3-balls and 96.2 percent of his FTs. Enechionyia (12.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG) has a team-best 16 blocked shots.
-- After cashing in back-to-back games and three of Villanova’s last four, the ‘over’ has improved to 6-4 overall. However, the ‘under’ prevailed in the Wildcats’ only previous road assignment.
-- The ‘over’ is 5-3 overall for the Owls, 1-1 in their home outings.
**Western Kentucky at Wisconsin**
-- Wisconsin (4-7 SU, 3-6-1 ATS) is in serious danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. It was expected to be a transition season after the loss of four senior starters, but nobody expected the Badgers to be three games under .500 more than a week before Christmas. That’s the scenario, however, after Greg Gard’s team lost back-to-back games at Temple (59-55) and vs. Marquette (82-63) this past week.
-- Going back even further, Wisconsin has lost seven of its last nine games, going 2-6-1 ATS. The Golden Eagles raced out to an early 28-11 lead at UW and the Badgers never got closer than seven the rest of the way this past Saturday in Madison. Brad Davison scored a team-best 20 points in the losing effort, making 11-of-16 attempts from the FT line. He had three rebounds, four assists and one steal. Ethan Happ finished with 17 points, nine boards, four assists, two steals and one block.
-- Happ, UW’s junior power forward, was a first-team All Big Ten selection last year, and he’s on his way to earning the same honors this season. Happ is averaging team-highs in scoring (16.3 PPG), rebounding (8.6 RPG), assists (3.1 APG), FG percentage (53.6%) and blocked shots (0.7 BPG).
-- Wisconsin has compiled a 3-3 SU record and a 2-3 ATS mark at home.
-- Wisconsin will be without true freshman guard Kobe King for the rest of the season due to a knee injury sustained last week. King, last year’s Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin, was averaging 5.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
-- As of late Tuesday night, most books had the Badgers installed as 7.5-point favorites. They are 0-5 ATS this year as single-digit ‘chalk.’
-- Western Kentucky (6-3 SU, 5-2 ATS) saw its four-game winning streak both SU and ATS snapped Sunday in an 89-84 loss at Ohio as a 2.5-point road favorite. Taveion Hollingsworth scored a team-best 19 points and pulled down four rebounds. Justin Johnson added 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Dwight Coleby, Darius Thompson and Jake Ohmer contributed 12 points apiece.
-- Western Kentucky has thrived as an underdog, producing a 3-0 spread record with a pair of outright wins. The Hilltoppers beat Purdue as a 19-point underdog and SMU as a 10-point ‘dog at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Lamonte Bearden was the catalyst against the Mustangs, tallying 14 points, six assists and five steals.
-- Rich Stansbury’s squad is 0-1 both SU and ATS in its only road outing this year.
-- Thompson is averaging team-highs in scoring (13.8 PPG) and assists (4.3 APG), while Hollingsworth (12.6 PPG) is hitting 54.5 percent of his 3-balls. Bearden (11.9 PPG) has a team-best 20 steals, while Coleby is averaging 11.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game. Johnson (11.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG) is the Hilltoppers’ leading rebounder.
-- The ‘over’ is 4-3 overall for the Hilltoppers, 1-0 in their road contest.
-- The ‘under’ is 5-4-1 overall for UW, but the ‘over’ is 4-1-1 in its home contests.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets* *
-- One of the nation’s seven remaining teams fell from the unbeaten ranks Tuesday night when Mississippi State went down at Cincinnati, 65-50. The Bearcats, who covered the spread as 13-point favorites, extended the country’s longest home winning streak to 31. In the process, UC avoided a three-game losing streak after losing at Xavier and vs. Florida (in Newark, N.J.). It was MSU’s 18th consecutive loss to a ranked foe. It was a vintage UC game under Mick Cronin, which is to say it was tenacious defense and relentless rebounding from the Bearcats. I fired down on the ‘under’ as my Tuesday guaranteed play and it was an easy winner, with the 115 combined points staying ‘under’ the 137-point total.
-- Michigan picked up a nice non-conference road win Tuesday night at Texas. The Wolverines won outright by a 59-52 count as 5.5-point underdogs, hooking up money-line supporters with a +195 return (paid $195 on $100 wagers). However, shortly after draining back-to-back 3-pointers that extended Michigan’s lead to double digits, Michigan star Moritz Wagner turned his ankle and left the game. He didn’t return and bettors should expect this injury to be an issue – at least in the next week for two.
-- As of late Tuesday night, most books had Houston listed as a 1.5-point favorite for Wednesday’s game at LSU. The SEC Network will have the broadcast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The Cougars are bringing a six-game winning streak to Baton Rouge. They’ve also covered the number in three straight outings.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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