College Basketball Picks: Sunday, January 31
After a monster Saturday of action we have a much more modest slate on Sunday featuring just a couple of ranked schools. Houston is the best team in action and maybe that gives them a chance to show some doubters just how good they are. Also, Ohio State gets a chance to kick Michigan State while it’s down. Then we move to the Big East and ACC and team try and add to their resumes as we close out the month.
Here’s a look at games for your Sunday no NFL card:
Odds via Fanduel as of Sunday, January 31 (10:40 am ET)
SMU Mustangs vs. Houston Cougars (#6), ESPN, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: SMU +10.5 (-118), Houston -10.5 (-104)
Total: Over 137.5 (-114), Under 137.5 (-106)
Money Line: SMU +460, Houston -620
The Cougars might not grab a lot of national headlines but they have been dominating this season and deserve to be ranked among the top teams in the country. They have just one loss, on the road by just a point, they have won 7 straight and covered in the last five, all as double-digit favorites. Guard Quentin Grimes, their leading scorer did not play in their last contest but he should be on the floor on Sunday. The last time these teams met the Cougars won by 14 at SMU. There is no reason not to expect a repeat and SMU is further handicapped by COVID-19 protocols that have affected their coaching staff.
Betting Advice: Take Houston.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (#13), CBS, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Michigan State +6.5 (-110), Ohio State -6.5 (-112)
Total: Over 141.5 (-114), Under 141.5 (-116)
Money Line: Michigan State +245, Ohio State -300
This has not been a good season for Michigan State (understatement), but they hit a new low scoring just 37 points against Rutgers in their last game. If you are going to lose a game by 30 points a 90-60 game looks much better. Now they are supposed to bounce back on the road but I am not buying it. Ohio State is not elite, but they are well-coached and hard to beat at Value City Arena, 9-1. The ATS numbers for the Buckeyes at home are just 4-4, but even though we could be buying super low on MSU I just don’t know what is going on with them so I have to stay away. I would rather lose fading them than with them at this point because they have been awful of late. Backing bad team is never a winning strategy. Sometimes they are even worse than we think.
Betting Advice: Take Ohio State
St. John’s Red Storm vs. Marquette Golden Eagles, FOX, 3:30 PM ET
Spread: St. Johns +4.5 (-110), Marquette -4.5 (-112)
Total: Over 150.5 (-108), Under 150.5 (-112)
Money Line: St. John’s +176, Marquette -210
After Villanova and Creighton in the Big East, you have a bunch of teams who keep beating each other up. Providence and Seton Hall took losses yesterday so now there is a great chance for Marquette to move up, if they can just do what they are supposed to do. That is no sure thing as they are off back to back losses. At home, they play much better than on the road because they actually play defense, giving up just 66ppg. They are very inconsistent overall, but at least the Red Storm are a team they know they can beat, they did it just a couple of weeks ago in New York. As long as this number stays under a couple of buckets the Golden Eagles are the play. They won by 2 points the last time they faced each other so adding another bucket for the switch in venue works for me.
Betting Advice: Take Marquette
NC State Wolfpack vs. Syracuse Orange, ACC Network, 6:00 PM ET
Spread: NC State +4.5 (-104), Syracuse -4.5 (-118)
Total: Over 146.5 (-112), Under 148.5 (-108)
Money Line: NC State +184, Syracuse -220
I am not sure how good either of these teams is this season or whether either is NCAA Tournament quality. Both have winning records overall, but in the ACC they are both just 3-4. Syracuse is easy to make as the favorite as they have lost just once at home this season. Meanwhile, NC State has not won on the road all season. The last time we saw the Orange they got beat up pretty good by Virginia. No surprise there as the Cavs make lots of teams look silly. Playing defense is not the game of the Wolfpack though so Syracuse should be able to get their offense going with ease. With the zone defense the Orange play, this one will largely come down to whether the Wolfpack can make enough threes to be competitive. I think they are going to fall short.
Betting Advice: Take Syracuse