NCAA CBI (0.75 Unit) UNC-Wilmington/Northern Colorado Over 153 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN2
Often times these neutral-site tournaments see lower-scoring games as teams aren’t used to the sightlines for shooting. But that certainly hasn’t been a problem for either of these squads, with both seeing their offensive efficiency marks exceed season averages in this event. They’ve also played close and fast-paced games the last two days, and with this being the third game in as many days I’m anticipating tired legs on defense tonight.
I don’t see that slowing the pace though, particularly from Northern Colorado who wants to play at a high tempo. If the Bears can dictate the style, then this should turn into a high-scoring game since both them and UNCW have very capable offenses. However, neither is particularly good at stopping anything, especially Northern Colorado which is 328th in defensive efficiency. This should be a close game as the spread implies, so add in some late free throws and this one should easily clear the over.
NCAA NIT (0.5 Unit) Vanderbilt +3.5 @ Xavier (-110): 8:00 PM CT on ESPN
The big key to this game is Xavier guard Paul Scruggs and whether he’s able to play. Scruggs injured his knee in Sunday’s win over Florida and this short turnaround is going to be difficult, especially against such a tough Vanderbilt team. The Commodores have really put it together late in the season behind the return of Liam Robbins and Rodney Chatman, covering 12 of their last 15 games. They’ve also been extremely good on the road and as an underdog in the tough SEC.
I think Vanderbilt is a live dog here regardless of whether Scruggs plays, but particularly if he’s out. Even though they play a heavy guard rotation, Xavier simply doesn’t have anyone to replace the ability of Scruggs to get to the basket and create his own shot. And in general, what was once a massive homecourt advantage early this season has melted away for the Musketeers, who are now just 9-10 ATS at Cintas Center. I see Vanderbilt being extremely competitive in this one as an under-the-radar team, and will take the full possession of points as insurance for a game I think they win outright.
NBA Chicago Bulls +7 @ Milwaukee Bucks (-110): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports WI
This number, and the move to drive it here, seem like an overreaction given the competitiveness between these teams. On news that Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to return tonight after a one-game absence, this has risen from the opener of 5 points which I thought was a much more reasonable number.
These teams have played extremely close games this season, with Milwaukee winning both by just 4 and 6 points. But the laundry list of injuries for Chicago played a …….