Feb 05, 2020
Wednesday's Best Bets
Weren't able to get there with Arkansas last night, as the Razorbacks struggled to close things out when they had the lead late, and just could never regain much momentum during overtime. It was yet another 'playing with fire' win for Auburn, who I still believe is in store for a loss or two in the very near future.
It's on to today's board, and with more games overall, there is more action to discuss. Hopefully today's plays can get back the unit (and then some) that were lost with Arkansas last night, so let's get right to it.
TCU at Oklahoma State (ESPN+, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #1: Oklahoma State -3
The Cowboys are from a team most will have confidence in laying chalk here, as they come into the game with a losing SU record overall, and have lost eight of their nine games in 2020. That run coincides with when conference play in the Big 12 got going, and for the most part, Big 12 play has not been kind to Oklahoma State. Six of those eight losses in the calendar year have come by double digits, including one to this TCU team about a month ago when they lost by 12 to the Horned Frogs. So what do I see in Oklahoma State tonight?
Well for one, they are at home, and that's always a plus for any college basketball team. Yes, OK State is only 5-6 SU at home this year, but it never hurts to be friendly and comfortable surroundings. Second, the 'revenge' angle does come into play for OK State tonight – the first time they've faced the same opponent twice this year – and that never hurts as well. The Cowboys may have lost that first meeting by 12 to TCU, but they only closed as +3.5 road dogs and had a bad night. It happens.
Furthermore, this play is equally about what I've seen from TCU of late and it really hasn't been much. They've dropped three in a row and five of six themselves (four by double digits), as their road games have been particularly ugly. TCU's last four road outings have resulted in losses by 32, 20, 11, and 16 points. Yes, they've been up against some of the better teams in the conference – teams that are much better then OK State – but they just don't cover spreads on the highway.
Throw in the overwhelming support at least when it comes to consensus numbers up at VegasInsider.com with 80% of bettors already taking the points with TCU tonight, likely largely as a play against OK State thought process, and this game does shape up as one of those where laying it with the home team is the only way I can look.
Of these two struggling teams, I believe it's much more likely we get a good-to-great effort from the home side as opposed to the visitors, as OK State gets back to the .500 mark with a convincing win this evening.
Temple at Memphis (CBSSN, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #2: Memphis -8
Memphis hasn't quite lived up to the lofty expectations some placed on them coming into the year and there are various reasons for that. Not having the guys they expected to on the floor is part of it, but there has also been a bit of poor play mixed in as well. Despite all of that, this Tigers team is still a very talented group that continues to rank out highly in most matchups.
Conversely, Temple has a lot of TCU in them in that they don't play well away from home, losing their last four road games by margins of 15, 7, 16, and 26 points. That averages out to 16 point margin of defeats per contest, double what tonight's point spread currently is. Some of those past beatings Temple has suffered have come against highly comparable teams to Memphis (Cincinnati, SMU), at least in terms of where they sit in the standings, but you wouldn't need much time to convince me that Memphis is the best of the bunch from a pure talent perspective.
And then you see Memphis' 14-3 SU record as a favorite this number of -8 – that's half as large as Temple's average road loss over their past four road outings – seems pretty easy to lay. I get that some can't get that disastrous effort against Tulsa a few weeks ago out of their heads when thinking about this Memphis team (the Tigers lost by 40), but they've put that far out of their memory banks now with some quality efforts against formidable foes of late, and this is a game where they can let loose a bit and run all over a much worse opponent.
This is a big step up in class for Temple after they knocked off ECU last time out, and it will look like it, as Memphis gets out to a decent lead early and runs away with this game late, adding to their 8-5 ATS record as home favorites this season.