First, let me say this: the oddsmakers have caught up with NCAA basketball. They've nudged the favorites up 10-20% hoping the bettor will expect the better team to come out and play an A game every night whereas the dogs (ranked 200 or more) will languish in mediocrity and fall short. Well, not so. In the conferences I've covered the last five years, the dogs are the teams that show the most improvement in the weeks priors to conference play. After all, they're starting on the bottom rung and improvement is magnified at that level. Of course the Dukes, Kentucky's, etc improve too. They have all the talent in the world on the court, but their improvement isn't necessarily skill improvement as much as it is building team chemistry, balance, role identification, and team trust. That's why they look so F**king incredible in February and March.
My pick for Thursday is:
#730 Pacific -10 at home hosting #729 Sac St.
I like this game for multiple reasons. Pacific is ranked #156 vs Sac State #322 at Team Rankings. Neither team is expected to do much in their conference and neither is in a lookahead spot. Both teams have played some talented opponents however Pacific has had a stronger SOS so far. The two teams are only 50 miles apart so this is somewhat a rivalry game. But what I like most in this matchup is this is the third home game for Pacific and 1st year coach Damon Stoudamire will want to prove his worth and talent to the home crowd and that usually leads to running up the score if at all possible. This is a common trait for year one coaches and what better opportunity is this?
Blue Ribbon Guide has Pacific's back and front court rated as B- whereas Sac St is a C+ and C. Not that these ratings are etched in stone, but C's in the Big Sky are a lot different in the West Coast Conference. I'm looking for Pacific to control this game from start to finish. They gave UCLA a good first half, handled Wyoming 73-65 at home, and lost at #59 Nevada 67-77 Tuesday night. Now they bring it all back home to face the Hornets and it's my take they will play to win big.
I like Pacific -10 to cover
As always, don't blindly take my word or anyone else's for that matter, but do the work before you bet. These are just my opinions only.
Good luck Scotty, Keep smoking them
Bol Scotty. Like it. Surprising early stAt. Is pacific top 30 or so in nation on the glass
Have not fully capped this but I've already watched the tigers once this year may go to that game I don't know it's a five minute walk from my 2nd home if I'm in town
Thanks Casey and Bone. As far as stats on the boards, I'm totally ignorant. I don't get down to performance stats until closer to conference. At this point, I view each team as an organism and I try to discern which elements are vulnerable, which elements show promise, and which elements are pulling it down. I'll start drawing conclusions mid-December and hope they serve me come conference play.
BOL Bone, you're one of the best at CBB here at pregame
As an organism, the Hornets are lacking any type of stinger. I don't expect them to win on the road anywhere in the Big Sky. The Hornets are 3-21 in Stockton & 0-17 in the last, I think, 17 games, but check my math. The last win coming in the '52-'53 season. (what a game that was!) The Hornets have lost by 9 or more in all their games. That's 100% of their games vs. D1,but once again check my math. The Big Sky is WEAK and Sac sits in the bottom 3. The sting used to be 3pt shooting, which is now 27%. This organism is missing a few key elements. I side with Scotty.
Great Information Sir.... BOL..
Bone you're a 209er!? Haha I was thinkin bout goin to game too but probably not
BOL tonight bud, love the write up
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After a lackluster first half in which Pacific trailed by one, the Tigers outshot the Hornets by 17 in the 2nd half to easily cover the spread 74-58. Not particularly inspiring, but definitely shows me Sac State doesn't have the depth to finish.
I'll have to remember to fade them in 2nd half prop bets.
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