I am going to wait to see if we can get a better number here, but I don't think that'll happen, so here goes:
Valpo +2 over Rhode Island:
It's not possible for me to fade a team that's shooting 83% from the line this season, and gets TO the line a lot. Add in the fact that they're at home with a significant length advantage, and the game should be relatively lower scoring (giving more value to a bucket or two). Then we look at the fact that Valpo has lost exactly two home games in two years, we'd almost call it good. The team that beat Valpo was Oregon, and URI doesn't play the same style. Valpo has beaten Alabama, who does play a style much closer to that of URI. They also beat BYU, so they can win the up-tempo shootouts if it comes to that. So, this could well be that the wrong team is favored. This is URI's first true road game and they've got the intrastate game against Providence on Saturday. Valpo has a game at Kentucky (yes, THAT Kentucky) next, but it's not until the middle of next week and zero games between now and then. The total has dropped at CRIS a full four points - I have a lean to the over if for no other reason this game should be close enough for free throws down the stretch and neither team turns the ball over a ton, so more meaningful possessions.
Illinois is a slight home underdog to NC State. Tough to back a team that's lost three straight and lost to Winthrop at home. Although Winthrop is good - that's a tough one for them, especially in OT. However, NC State has been playing one of the shortest benches this season and the Illini do have plenty of experience, so I see this one playing out NC State 1H and then Illinois catches them late.
Maryland has won some close games against decent teams late, so that's a huge plus in their favor. I can't wrap my head around what Pittsburgh will do under Stallings, who seemed to under achieve at Vanderbilt year after year. The Panthers have a ton of experience, but getting Seniors to change what they've been doing under Dixon for three years might not be the easiest thing to do, so Maryland or nothing.
VCU at home and "only" favored by a handful (plus one) certainly seems easy enough and the oddsmakers would have to know that people might jump on that without looking at Princeton. VCU could be in a tough spot, having spent Thanksgiving in the Bahamas. Princeton doesn't have the marquee win yet, but is super rested and did play BYU pretty tough on the road. Both teams have a ton of experience. Slow paced teams that can play defense (Cincinnati/Wisconsin) gave VCU a tough time last season, so I'd have to take the points, thinking Princeton has more patience.
Davidson beat Mercer by six at home last year so my inclination is almost always to take Mercer for the revenge at home. Although this is Davidson's first true road game, they played some good teams in Kissimmee. However, call me stubborn but it's not easy for me to fade Mercer at home where they just don't lose (not til February last season). Any edge here might be in turnovers, where Davidson has had some issues protecting the ball, and defensively not creating a ton of them. If Davidson doesn't have focus, they don't win. How could they not have focus? Their next three games, all away, are CoC (College of Charleston), North Carolina, and Kansas.