The big feast is just around the corner, so I’m serving up some appetizer picks for tonight to get you in the holiday spirit. As always, lines are taken from Draftkings Sportsbook.
Harvard -15.5 vs. Holy Cross
Speaking of feasts, Northeastern ate Holy Cross alive last week. The Huskies went out and beat Holy Cross by 57 (!) on its home court. In the game, the Huskies shot 60 percent from the field and were 16-29 from beyond the arc. Harvard comes into Friday off a loss to Buffalo in a game that saw Bryce Aiken make his debut for the Crimson. Harvard might still be a bit beat up health-wise, but it’ll come into this game licking its lips for a feast.
The pick: Harvard -15.5
Sacred Heart -5.5 vs. Presbyterian
Sacred Heart has gotten off to a rough start this season, as was to be expected by opening at Providence and UConn. The road loss to Binghamton was a bit of a surprise, but Sacred Heart bounced back with a 21-point win at home against Brown. This game is on a neutral-ish court as they’ll be playing just up the road at Quinnipiac. Koreem Ozier went off for 28 points in the win over Brown. Look for him to stay hot and lead the Pioneers to a comfortable win tonight.
The Pick: Sacred Heart -5.5
Cincinnati -13.5 vs. Illinois State
The John Brannen era in Cincinnati has gotten off to an interesting start with the coach opting to bench the Bearcats’ best player in Jarron Cumberland. Brannen called this a “coach’s decision” and didn’t give any additional details. If you look at what The Athletic wrote on the situation, it seems as if there may even be a rift between the coach and player around his role in the team’s new motion-heavy offense. Illinois State is a good team that beat Belmont to open the season and nearly beat UCF in its last game. There is just too much internal chaos at Cincinnati right now for my liking and we’ve seen what Missouri Valley schools can do early on in the non-conference slate.
The Pick: Illinois State +13.5
LSU +1.5 vs. Utah State
This is my game to watch tonight. Utah State came into the season as one of the most hyped mid-majors and has only somewhat impressed me (mainly because the Aggies haven’t really played anyone). They get their first test tonight in a match-up against a tough LSU team. Whereas Utah State has played a light schedule, the Tigers have already played in one of the toughest road environments in the game, at VCU, and nearly won. For LSU to be a dog here is pretty surprising to me. Until I see Utah State play a good game against higher level competition, I just can’t take them in this spot.
The Pick: LSU +1.5