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College Basketball Bet of the Day 2/8: Homer Pick Warning

Better fade me here!

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday’s Bet: Colgate vs Holy Cross, Holy Cross +17.5: MISS.

Hoooo boy, so I did sort of indicate that this pick was a bit of a heat check, and it bounced off the side of the backboard. The Holy Cross renaissance lasted just under 3.5 games. They hung tough in the first half, but then got absolutely pasted by Colgate to the tune of a 28 point blowout. Call Holy Cross tartar, because they were totally controlled by Colgate.

What’s worse I’m now 0.500 in my last 10. That’s the worst I could possibly be, because now you don’t know if you should tail or fade. Hear me out though, because I have an idea.

Current Stats

Record: 9-6-1 | Profit: +4.7U | ROI: 11.3% | Avg Odds: -109.9 | Streak: 1L | Last 10: WWWLLLLWWL

Thumpasaurus College Hoops Bet Of The Day

Today’s Event: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini, 9:00PM EST

Today’s Bet: 4U on Illinois +5.5 (-105)

Warning: You know my deal with Illinois. Tail with extreme caution. However, I’m the type of fan that’s normally inclined to bet against my team.

Simply put, I think this game is a toss-up. I wish my book had a moneyline, because I’ve seen Illinois moneylines at +210 and that’s exceptional value for a game that, again, I believe to be a toss-up.

Why do I believe that?

Let’s do the models. Sagarin rates Purdue 2.11 points higher than Illinois; adding the 2.57 home advantage gives Purdue a 4.68 point edge, which is roughly a point of wiggle room. Both are elite teams and both have played well against elite teams, with Purdue 6-1 against Sagarin’s top 25 and Illinois 4-2. KenPom likes Purdue by 4 or so on a neutral court, so that model gives them between a 6.5 and 7 point home edge.

Per Kenpom, Purdue is #1 offensively in the country and #108 defensively, while Illinois is #18 and #21 respectively.

Purdue beat Illinois on the road in 2 overtimes in Kofi Cockburn’s worst game of the year. It’s fair to say that Purdue is one of the few teams with the size to match up with Cockburn, so I wouldn’t expect him to put up 37 points or anything, but I’d certainly expect more than the 22 minutes he played in the first contest. He was in foul trouble early and often, which is not usually a problem for him.

A better interior defensive presence for Illinois will help limit Zach Edey’s inside scoring and Jaden Ivey’s trips to the line. Trent Frazier and Da’Monte Williams have been ferocious in their on-ball perimeter defense. Illinois guard Andre Curbelo ought to improve now that he’s able to practice with the team again.

Purdue’s been winning, but they haven’t been bulldozing great teams. They escaped Ohio State on a ridiculous three by Ivey at the buzzer, lost at Indiana and at home against Wisconsin. Illinois has battled through some adversity with player availability in games and practice, and that has led to ugly results like a 17 point loss to Maryland. However, they’re still rolling, have generally played very well on the road, and as a program have won the most conference games of any Big Ten school over the last three years. They’ve fallen on their face a few times, but Brad Underwood’s Illini have a habit of showing up big time against highly ranked competition.

Bottom Line: This should be a great game between two of the teams many college hoops writers are including on their short lists for national title contenders. Given that, I think +5.5 is a little too much. I’d play it to 4.5 and I’ll definitely look at any moneyline better than +180.

BoilerBettor’s Pick of the Day

Yesterday’s Bet: Temple at South Florida, Temple -4: MISS.

Every now and then, a team is going to lay an egg and boy did the Owls do that with one of their worst offensive performances of the year. 49 points after averaging in the mid-60s in conference play? Woof.

Current Stats:

Record: 0-1-0 | Profit: -1.1U | ROI: Not good | Avg Odds: -110 | Streak: 1L

Today’s Event: Ohio Bobcats vs. Toledo Rockets 7:00PM EST

Today’s Bet: 1.1U on Toledo -3 (-110)

Two of the best offenses (and defenses) in the MAC square off tonight. Statistically speaking, there are very few mismatches in this contest. While it is a revenge spot for Ohio, Toledo is coming off a bad loss at Ball State. I made the line Toledo -2.5 and the line is moving towards Ohio but I don’t think it’s the right side. Give me the Rockets tonight.

Leans: Illinois +5.5, Arkansas +2.5, Wisc/MSU Under 139

UPDATE (11:24PM EST): LMAO, well, that was a fun series of three articles. I have no credibility. I just believed in Illinois fucking basketball. See you in the fall, briefly, until we kick off with a home loss to Wyoming