Degens Only – Wednesday Plays, Feb. 3
Things we learned from last night. You know what they say, “All good things must come to an end.” The Grizzlies defense was chewed up and spit out worse than Pete Carroll’s gum. The Grizzlies allowed the Pacers to shoot 60% for the game and 55% from deep. On an NHL note, Montreal continued to score at will, netting another five goals. That now puts them at 44 goals in their first ten games in 2021. Scoring under four goals only twice this year, this team should be a cash cow throughout the season. Shout out to Fred VanVleet, not only did the ultimate underdog sign the largest contract ever by an undrafted free agent this offseason, but last night he set the record for most points by an undrafted player in NBA history and set the all-time franchise record for most points in a game by a Raptor.
With college basketball taking center stage, it’s time to start talking about it. After last night there is no doubt in my mind that Baylor is hands down going to be the team to beat this year at the big dance. Sorry Gonzaga fans, but your cupcake WCC schedule doesn’t have me convinced you can hang with a battle tested Bears team when it counts. With college and pro ball being the only ticket in town tonight, that’s where we turn our attention for Wednesdays top plays.
Everything is bigger in Texas: Houston -16
Now don’t look at me like that, have you seen this Houston team play? Sure they play in the American Conference, but it’s like steel curtain meets the hardwood. Domination is an understatement to describe what Houston has been able to accomplish this season. As you dive into this East Carolina / Houston matchup, there are some seriously strong trends that can’t be ignored. When facing teams outside of the top 120, Houston is 6-0 and has won every game by 17 or more points. Houston has beat East Carolina by 16 or more in 6 of their last 7 games. East Carolina is 0-17 vs ranked opponents over the last ten years, losing by an average of 21 PPG. Houston has yet to allow more than 67 points in any game and East Carolina has yet to score 70 points in a conference game. The trends continue and the cougars roll. Lay the chalk with Houston -16.
Say it Ain’t So Seton Hall: Seton Hall Team Total over 71
A wolf in sheep’s clothing is exactly what I think of when I hear the name “Seton Hall.” Their record doesn’t reflect how good this team actually is. Just look at their last three games if you need a starting place, nearly beating #3 Villanova and #17 Creighton. Now we might not be able to fully count on them to win games, but we can count on them to score points. Seton Hall is 9-1 going over the posted total when facing a defense that is outside of the top 50, Providence ranks 89th. After three frustrating losses and going over the posted total while going blow for blow with Nova and Creighton, the Providence defense should be a punching bag for this Seton Hall offense. Take Seton Hall to blow off some steam and go over 71 points.
Value on Virginia: Virginia -6.5
Let me paint you the whole picture here. We have a Virginia team that has not lost back to back games all season, coming off a loss against their in state rival. They get a reeling NC State team that has lost 5 of 6. Virginia comes in with one of the slowest paces in the country and a top 5 EFG%, meaning they are extremely efficient in limiting their opponent’s possessions and scoring on theirs. NC State is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS VS top 50 defenses Virginia ranks 19th. The news keeps getting worse for NC State as they recently found out that their leading scorer Devon Daniels will be out the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Look for Virginia to slow this game down and make NC State play at a pace that they are very uncomfortable with and wear them down over the course of the game. Lay the medium chalk with Virginia -6.5.
U Is for Under: UMASS/Fordham under 132
Have you watched a Fordham game this season? I can’t say I blame you. They’re slow and boring, and there isn’t myriad of scoring. Fordham has only scored more than 60 points one time this season and they play at a crawling pace. To give Fordham some credit, they can play a little bit of defense. So what do you get with a team that plays slow, can’t score, and plays decent defense? Under baby! These two played a few weeks ago and only combined for 111. There is too much ground to make up here – take the under 132.