Thursday's Tip Sheet
January 3, 2018
By Brian Edwards
**Editor’s note: Brian Edwards is on fire in college hoops after going 5-1 over the last two nights. Since Dec. 27, Brian owns a 13-3 record (81.3%, +9.89 Units!). He has nailed six of his past seven guaranteed plays and is 14-5 on G-plays since Dec. 8 (73.7%, +8.64 Units). Get signed up for more winners with Brian right now for the long term, or you can just cash in on tonight’s pay-if-it-wins-only selection!
**Maryland at Michigan State**
-- This is an extremely fast turnaround for Maryland, which captured a 75-69 win over Penn State on Tuesday night to extend its winning streak to seven games. Mark Turgeon’s squad took the cash as a 3.5-point home favorite, while the 144 combined points slipped ‘over’ the 140-point total. Anthony Cowan led the winners with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Bettors like me who were on the Terrapins owe a hat tip to the referees, who sent them to the free-throw line 34 times. PSU. On the other hand, went to the charity stripe merely four times. With six minutes remaining, Maryland went on a 9-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a four-point lead. Kevin Huerter keyed the comeback by scoring all 13 of his points in the game’s last 12 minutes. Bruno Fernando was inserted into the starting lineup and played a career-high 32 minutes, responding with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
-- Maryland took a pair of big losses in late December when Justin Jackson and Ivan Bender were both lost to season-ending injuries. Jackson was averaging 9.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, while Bender was averaging 3.4 points and 2.9 RPG.
-- Maryland (13-3 straight up, 9-6 against the spread) is 1-1 both SU and ATS in a pair of road assignments.
-- Maryland is ranked fifth in the nation at defending the 3-point line, forcing foes in shoot at just a 28.1 percent clip from long distance. The Terps are ninth in field-goal percentage defense (37.7%) and 21st in scoring ‘D’ (63.0 PPG).
-- Cowan paces the Terps in scoring with a 15.6 points-per-game average. The sophomore guard is averaging 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Huerter (14.1 PPG), another sophomore, is averaging 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He’s shooting at a 45.9 percent clip from 3-point range. Fernando (10.8 PPG), the 6’10” freshman, is averaging team-bests in rebounding (6.4 RPG) FG percentage (60.6%) and blocked shots (1.8 BPG).
-- Michigan State (14-1 SU, 10-5 ATS) is undefeated in nine home games with a 7-2 spread record at Breslin Center. Tom Izzo’s club has won 13 in a row since taking its lone defeat to Duke (88-81) as a 1.5-point ‘chalk’ in Chicago back on Nov. 14.
-- As of Wednesday night, most betting shops had Michigan St. installed as a 13.5-point favorite.
-- Michigan State owns a 7-4 spread record in 11 games as a double-digit favorite. The Spartans are off a 108-52 win over Savannah St. as a 42.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Nick Ward was the catalyst with 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. The sophomore power forward made all nine of his shots attempts from the field. Miles Bridges added 19 points, 231 boards and four assists, while Cassius Winston finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Matt McQuaid contributed 14 points and four assists, knocking down 4-of-7 launches from 3-point range.
-- Michigan State is No. 1 in the Associated Press’s rankings, but it is only No. 30 in the RPI. The Spartans are 3-1 against the RPI Top 100 with quality wins vs. North Carolina on a neutral floor and Notre Dame and Nebraska at home. Other decent victories came on neutral courts against Oakland and UConn.
-- Bridges is averaging 17.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while Ward is averaging 15.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. Ward is making 72.1 percent of his shots from the field and has 25 blocked shots. Joshua Langford, a sophomore from Huntsville, AL, is scoring at a 14.1 PPG clip thanks to 45.3 percent shooting from downtown. Winston (13.1 PPG) is dishing out a team-best 7.1 assists per game and is converting 57.5 percent of his FGs and 56.9 percent of his 3-balls. Finally, true freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. (10.5 PPG) is averaging 7.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots per game.
-- Michigan State is No. 1 in the nation in FG percentage defense (32.9%) and 14th in scoring ‘D’ (61.4 PPG). The Spartans are efficient offensively as well. In fact, they’re ranked 13th in scoring (87.7 PPG), second in FG percentage (53.1%) and 15th in 3-point shooting (41.2%).
-- Maryland is No. 54 in the RPI, going 1-3 versus both the Top 50 and 100. The Terps’ best win is a home scalp of Butler by a 79-65 count.
-- The ‘under’ is 6-5 overall for the Terps, but they’ve seen the ‘over’ cash in both of their road assignments.
-- The ‘over’ is 8-6 overall for the Spartans, 6-2 in their home game in East Lansing. The ‘over’ had hit in four straight MSU games until its latest victory saw the ‘under’ appear.
-- When Maryland joined the Big Ten during the 2014-15 season, it won the first two encounters against the Spartans both SU and ATS. Then MSU ripped off three straight wins until the Terps captured a 63-60 win as 4.5-point home underdogs last year. Cowan contributed 11 points, five boards and five assists for the winners. In the losing effort, Ward finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds, while Bridges had 18 points and eight boards.
-- The ‘under’ is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings of this rivalry dating back to 2003.
-- Tip-off on Fox Sports 1 is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
**Arizona at Utah**
-- As of Wednesday night, most spots had Arizona listed as a 3.5-point favorite The Wildcats are 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS in a pair of road assignments. -- Arizona (11-3 SU, 5-7-2 ATS) handed Arizona State its first loss of the season by an 84-78 count as a six-point home favorite this past Saturday night. The 162 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 163-point number. Allonzo Trier and DeAndre Ayton shared team-best scoring honors with 23 points apiece. Trier had four assists without a turnover and buried all 10 of his attempts from the FT line. Ayton pulled down 19 rebounds and rejected three shots. Dusan Ristic was also in double figures with 12 points.
-- Since losing three straight games to N.C. State, SMU and Purdue at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas over the Thanksgiving holidays, Arizona is on eight-game winning streak and has gone 4-3-1 ATS during this stretch.
-- Arizona is No. 24 in the RPI Rankings, posting a 3-1 record against the Top 50 and a 4-2 mark versus the Top 100. Sean Miller’s team has home wins over Alabama, Arizona St. and North Dakota St., in addition to a neutral-court win over Texas A&M.
-- Trier is scoring at a 21.3 PPG clip, shooting at percentages of 54.2 (FGs), 42.5 (3P%) and 83.3 (FTs). Ayton (19.7 PPG) is averaging team-highs in rebounding (11.9 RPG), FG percentage (61.9%) and blocked shots (1.5 BPG). Rawle Alkins (14.2 PPG) is nailing 40.0 percent of his 3-balls, while Rustic is averaging 10.0 points and 6.1 RPG.
-- Arizona has limped to an abysmal 0-4-1 spread record in five games as a single-digit ‘chalk.’
-- Utah (10-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) owns a 7-0 SU record and a 4-1 ATS mark at home this season. This is the Utes’ first spots as home underdogs this year.
-- Utah won its first two league games at Oregon (66-56) and at Oregon State (66-64) last weekend. Larry Krystkowiak’s squad beat the Beavers in Corvallis on New Year’s Eve in a pick ‘em affair. -- Utah freshman forward Donnie Tillman is listed as ‘questionable’ vs. Arizona with a foot injury that has kept him out of the past three games. Tillman, a Las Vegas Findlay Prep HS standout, is averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Justin Bibbins led the way with 18 points and six assists, while David Collette added 12 points. Bibbins drained 4-of-8 attempts from 3-point land.
-- Utah is No. 31 in the RPI Rankings, going 1-1 versus the Top 50 and 2-2 against the Top 100. The Utes took their losses at Butler, at BYU and vs. UNLV on a neutral floor. They have a home win over Missouri and a neutral-court triumph over Ole Miss. They’ve won three straight games since the loss in Provo.
-- Five Utah players are scoring in double figures led by Collette, who is averaging 13.2 points and 5.0 RPG. Bibbins (12.8 PPG) has a 58/22 assists-to-turnovers ratio and is hitting 47.8 percent of his treys. Tyler Rawson is averaging 11.0 points and 6.4 RPG.
-- The ‘over’ is 7-6 overall for Arizona, 2-0 in its road outings. However, the ‘under’ has cashed in three consecutive games for the Wildcats.
-- The ‘under’ is 7-3-1 overall for Utah, 3-1-1 in its five lined home contests. The Utes have watched the ‘under’ cash in each of their last four outings.
-- ESPN will have the broadcast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Cincinnati guard Cane Broome is ‘out’ tonight at Temple with an ankle injury. Broome is averaging 9.8 points and 3.1 assists per game. The transfer from Sacred Heart, who averaged 23.1 PPG for the Pioneers during the 2015-16 campaign, is shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. The Bearcats are favored by seven over the Owls. The ‘under’ is on an 8-2 run for UC. The total is 138. ESPN2 will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
-- Arizona State is off its first loss of the season at Arizona on Dec. 30. The Sun Devils, who are now 12-1 SU and 9-2-2 ATS, are at Colorado tonight as 9.5-point road ‘chalk.’ The Buffaloes will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak both SU and ATS.
-- Notre Dame took a major hit earlier this week with the loss of Bonzie Colson, its best player who broke his left foot and will probably be out until late February. Colson is averaging team-highs in scoring (21.4 PPG), rebounding (10.4 RPG), steals (2.0 SPG) and blocked shots (2.4 BPG).
-- Alabama senior forward Riley Norris is out for the rest of the season with a hip injury. Norris has played in 110 career games for the Crimson Tide. He averaged a career-best 9.0 PPG last season, but he was scoring at just a 4.8 PPG clip through nine games this year.
-- Georgia remained unbeaten at home with last night’s 71-60 victory over Ole Miss as a 4.5-point favorite. The Bulldogs covered the number for first-half backers (-2.5, my hand raised as one of those supporters) when they went to halftime with a 39-31 advantage. Juwan Parker had a career night, finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists compared to merely one turnover. Parker drained all four of his launches from 3-point range. Yante Maten added 15 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
-- Kentucky trailed nearly the entire game last night at LSU, but it rallied to capture a 74-71 win over the Tigers as a 2.5-point favorite. P.J. Washington and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shared team-high scoring honors with 18 points apiece, while Kevin Knox chipped in with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
-- UCF is on a 6-0 ATS run after taking the cash in last night’s home win over Memphis. I was on the Knights and UGA for winners last night, going 2-1 since I lost with St. Bonaventure at Dayton. I’m on a 13-3 run since Dec. 27.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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