January 25, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Editor's note: Brian Edwards went 2-0 last night and has cashed his guaranteed plays at a 24-13 clip (64.9%, +10.16 Units) since Dec. 8, so don't miss out on tonight's pay-if-it-wins-only selection!
**Michigan at Purdue**
-- This is a rematch of Purdue’s 70-69 win at Michigan on Jan. 9. Isaac Haas buried a go-ahead free throw with four seconds remaining, but the Wolverines covered the spread as 1.5-point home underdogs. However, bets on Michigan to win outright (+115 at Sportsbook.ag) were unsuccessful, while those taking the Boilermakers on the money line (-125 at most Vegas shops) cashed a ticket. The 139 combined points ducked ‘under’ the 141.5-point total.
-- Purdue's Carsen Edwards scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds in the win at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. Haas finished with 17 points, six boards and two blocked shots, while Dakota Mathias contributed 14 points, four assists and two steals. He buried four triples on seven attempts. In the losing effort, Zavier Simpson scored a team-best 15 points and had six rebounds and five assists compared to just one turnover.
-- Purdue owns the nation’s longest winning streak with 15 consecutive wins. Matt Painter’s team is 8-0 in Big Ten play and would probably be the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region if the season ended today.
-- As of early this morning, most betting shops had Purdue (19-2 straight up, 14-6 against the spread) listed as an 11.5-point favorite with a total of 137.
-- Purdue is undefeated in 12 home games with an 8-3 spread record. Painter’s bunch is 7-3 ATS in 10 games as a double-digit home favorite.
-- Purdue has covered the spread in three straight games and seven of its past nine, including Saturday’s 87-64 win at Iowa as an 11.5-point road ‘chalk.’ The 151 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 152.5-point total. The Boilermakers raced out to a commanding 51-20 lead at halftime and led by as many as 37 in the second half. Carsen Edwards dominated the Hawkeyes by producing 22 points, three rebounds, two steals and eight assists without a turnover. Vince Edwards added 19 points and two blocked shots. P.J. Thompson hit 4-of-6 attempts from 3-point range in a 14-point effort, while Dakota Mathias finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists compared to merely one turnover. Mathias also had two steals and drained 4-of-6 from downtown.
-- Carsen Edwards is averaging 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. The sophomore guard is making 48.5 percent of his shots from the field, 40.5 percent of his 3-balls and 80.0 percent of his free throws. Vince Edwards (14.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG) has nailed 46.2 percent of his launches from 3-point range and 83.8 percent of his FTs. Haas (13.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG) has 27 blocked shots, while Matt Haarms has a team-high 59 rejections.
-- Purdue is ranked 19th in the nation in points (84.8 PPG), 10th in field-goal percentage (50.3%) and second in 3-point accuracy (43.7%). The Boilermakers are ranked ninth in the country in scoring defense (62.2 PPG) and fourth in FG percentage defense (37.7%).
-- Purdue is 10th in the RPI Rankings and third in the latest Associated Press Top 25. The Boilermakers are 5-2 against the RPI Top 50 and 8-2 versus the Top 100. They have neutral-court wins over Butler and Arizona, in addition to road victories at Marquette, at Michigan, at Maryland and at Minnesota. Purdue’s best home wins are over Louisville and Nebraska.
-- Michigan (17-5 straight up, 12-8 against the spread) is 3-3 both SU and ATS in six road assignments. John Belein’s team beat Rutgers 62-47 Sunday to hook up its backers as a 12-point home favorite. Moritz Wagner scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds for the winners, who bounced back from a 72-52 loss at Nebraska. Duncan Robinson added 12 points, five boards and four assists, while Simpson finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists with just one turnover.
-- Michigan is 25th in the AP poll and 38th in the RPI. Beilein’s team has a 2-3 record against the RPI Top 50 and a 5-5 mark versus the Top 100. The Wolverines have road wins at Texas and at Michigan St., while they’ve also produced home triumphs vs. Indiana, UCLA and Maryland.
-- Michigan has covered the spread in three straight games as an underdog with a pair of outright wins. For the season, it is 3-2 ATS as a ‘dog. This will be the richest spot as underdogs for the Wolverines this season, assuming the number remains in double digits. They won at Breslin Center in East Lansing as 9.5-point ‘dogs.
-- Charles Matthews paces Michigan with his 14.6 PPG average. The transfer from Kentucky who is out of St. Rita High School in Chicago is averaging 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Wagner (14.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG) is making 54.4 percent of his FGA’s and 41.1 percent of his 3’s. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (10.5 PPG) has a stellar 70/13 assist-to-turnover ratio.
-- Michigan is ranked 11th in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to 62.5 points per game.
-- The ‘under’ is 13-7 overall for Michigan, 3-3 in its road assignments. The ‘under’ has hit in three straight and four of the past five for the Wolverines.
-- The ‘under’ has cashed in six straight games for Purdue to improve to 11-9 overall and 7-4 in its home games.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**Central Florida at Wichita State**
-- Wichita State is 5-2 in its first seven games as a member of the American Athletic Conference. Gregg Marshall’s club is in a second-place tie with Houston, as both teams are two games back of the league-leading Cincinnati Bearcats, who improved to 7-0 with last night’s dominant home win over Temple.
-- As of early this morning, most books had Wichita State (15-4 SU, 7-10 ATS) installed as a 13.5-point home favorite with a total of 130.
-- Marshall’s team has won eight of its 10 home games while compiling a 3-5 spread record. Wichita State took its home defeats vs. SMU last Wednesday (83-78) and vs. Oklahoma (91-83) on Dec. 16. The Shockers have been double-digit home ‘chalk’ six times, going 3-3 ATS.
-- Wichita State has dropped back-to-back games and can’t afford a loss tonight if it hopes to stay within striking distance of Mick Cronin’s UC team. After the home setback vs. SMU, the Shockers lost 73-59 Saturday at Houston as three-point road favorites. Shaquille Morris was the only Shocker in double figures with 12 points and seven rebounds.
-- Wichita State is ranked 17th in the AP poll and 27th in the RPI. Marshall’s team has home wins over Houston and South Dakota State and a neutral-court triumph over Marquette. The Shockers also have victories at Baylor, at Oklahoma State and at UConn. Their fourth loss came to Notre Dame by a 67-66 count in a neutral-site showdown back in November.
-- Marshall has one of the nation’s premier point guards in Landry Shamet, who is averaging team-highs in scoring (15.6 PPG), assists (5.2 APG), steals (0.7 SPG) and 3-point accuracy (50.0%). The junior was held to seven points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field at Houston. Shamet had the same number of assists (three) as turnovers (three) against the Cougars.
-- Central Florida (13-6 SU, 9-5 ATS) has won four of its six road games while going 3-2 ATS.
-- Johnny Dawkins’s squad lost 7’6” junior center Tacko Fall to a season-ending shoulder injury this past weekend. Fall was averaging 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game. Fall was making 76.7 percent of his FGAs, but he had a disastrous 5/42 assist-to-turnover ratio while hitting just 46.0 percent of his FTs.
-- Fall’s size in the lane has helped the Knights rank third in the nation in scoring defense (59.1 PPG) behind only Cincinnati and Virginia. They are ranked fifth in the country in FG percentage ‘D’ (37.5%).
-- UCF avoided a three-game losing streak by winning 71-69 Saturday in the I-4 rivalry. The Knights ventured West to Tampa and emerged victorious at USF, but the Bulls were the winners for our purposes as 9.5-point road favorites. B.J. Taylor scored 25 points and dished out five assists without a turnover for UCF. Chad Brown added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
-- This is UCF’s richest underdog situation of the season. The Knights have been double-digit ‘dogs twice, going 2-0 with one outright win at Alabama as 10-point puppies. They also covered as 11.5-point ‘dogs at SMU in a 56-51 loss.
-- UCF’s A.J. Davis (ankle) is ‘probable’ at Wichita State. Davis is averaging 10.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Chance McSpadden is ‘questionable’ with an ankle issue. McSpadden is averaging 5.8 points and 3.2 RPG.
-- The ‘under’ is 9-8 overall for the Shockers, but the ‘over’ is 6-2 in their home games.
-- The ‘under’ has been a relentless money maker in UCF games, going 12-2 overall and 4-1 in its road contests. When Saturday’s game at USF saw the 140 combined points soar ‘over’ the 119.5-point number, it was the first time the ‘over’ had hit in a UCF game since it beat Mercer 88-79 in the season opener on Nov. 10. (167 pts. went ‘over’ 134.5 pts.)
-- ESPN2 will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Wyoming handed Nevada its first loss in Mountain West Conference play with last night’s 104-103 double-overtime win as a three-point home underdog. Justin James dropped a game-high 33 points on the Wolf Pack and had 10 rebounds before fouling out in the first extra session. Hayden Dalton added 25 points, nine boards, four assists and two steals for the Cowboys, who play Saturday at San Jose State.
-- South Carolina went into Gainesville last night as a 10.5-point underdog and won a 77-72 decision to hook up its money-line supporters with a gorgeous +450 return (paid $450 on $100 wagers). Wesley Myers was the catalyst in the upset with 22 points, four assists and four steals. The grad transfer from Maine buried 5-of-7 launches from 3-point land. Chris Silva finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Jalen Hudson and Egor Koulechov scored 16 points apiece for the Gators, while Chris Chiozza had 10 points and eight assists compared to one turnover.
-- Auburn went on a 20-2 second-half run to put Missouri away in a 91-73 victory as a two-point road underdog. Five AU players were in double figures led by Jared Harper’s 21 points. Bryce Brown and Desean Murray scored 16 points apiece, and Mustapha Heron finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Kassius Robertson had a team-best 21 points for Missouri.
-- Kentucky is unranked in the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since 2014. I won’t be surprised if the ‘Cats are underdogs of 7-8 points at West Virginia in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday. I’ll be on WVU if the Mountaineers are favored by five or fewer.
-- It’s a shame Auburn isn’t in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Instead, Bruce Pearl’s club will host LSU on Saturday.
-- Steve Alford was on the receiving end of great news earlier this week when five-star center Moses Brown committed to UCLA over Maryland and FSU. The 7-foot-1 product of Archbishop Molloy High School in New York, the same program that produced Georgia Tech legendary point guard Kenny Anderson, is ranked the 18th-best prospect in the 2018 class in the ESPN 100 rankings. Alford now has three ESPN 100 commits for his 2018 class.
-- Ranking the Big 12/SEC Challenge games:
1 - Kentucky at West Virginia
2 - Oklahoma at Alabama
3 - Texas A&M at Kansas
4 - Texas Tech at South Carolina
5 - Baylor at Florida
6 - Oklahoma St. at Arkansas
7 - Georgia at Kansas State
8 - Tennessee at Iowa State
9 - Ole Miss at Texas
10 - TCU at Vanderbilt
-- Pay close attention to Alabama’s chemistry in its monster home game vs. Oklahoma. The Crimson Tide won the two games Collin Sexton missed with an abdominal injury. The team’s leading scorer returned in Wednesday’s loss at Ole Miss. Sexton, the likely one-and-done guard who some feel could be a lottery pick, went 2-of-13 from the field in 20 minutes of playing time off the bench in Oxford.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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