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Mid-Money Madness: First slate of picks

Can ODU be a profitable pick? Maybe with deliberate style.

NCAA Basketball: Mountain West Conference Tournament- Air Force vs San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

With college basketball here — at least most teams as cancellations have already hit — it’s time to take a look at how to make a little bit of money. In today’s Mid-Money Madness I’ve called out four games that have caught my eye for some reason or another. All of these lines have come from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday afternoon and are obviously subject to change.

I’ll be throwing picks out on Twitter throughout the season so be sure to follow for extra picks.

And as always … don’t hate me when I’m wrong.

Old Dominion +7.5 vs. Maryland

I tried to find us a couple mid-major vs. high-major matchups that had single-digit or low-double digit spreads and this was one. We all know Jeff Jones and Old Dominion love to muck up the game and play a physical, deliberate style of basketball. It’s not always the most exciting team to watch, but can we find them as a profitable team to take? Losing both Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith is going to be a tough one for Mark Turgeon to swallow. These two players were key contributors to the success of last year’s Maryland team. This Maryland team will have a lot of new pieces and guys taking on new roles that will make it a tough go early on.

The Pick: Under 132, Lean ODU +7.5

Liberty +10.5 vs. Purdue

Here is another mid-major vs. high-major matchup with a relatively close point spread. If you like scoring I’d turn away from this game. We have an over/under of 123 which is pretty low by college basketball standards. But this is for good reason with Liberty having played at the slowest pace in the country last year. When it comes to Purdue you feel as if you can always count on a big guy down low to block shots and take control of the game. Gone is Matt Haarms to transfer and in is 7-foot-4 freshman Zach Edey. While Edey won’t be the focal point down low, that’ll be Trevion Williams, who doesn’t want to see a 7-4 guy play. With the loss of Haarms and Nojel Eastern I think Purdue takes a step back at the onset this year. It’ll take some time for this group to become a force and in the meantime expect some ugly scores.

The Pick: Under 123, Liberty +10.5

UNC Wilmington +4 vs. Western Carolina

Ever look at a slate of games and wonder why your eyes are gravitating towards a matchup? That’s how I felt about this one. Maybe it was a fun in-state matchup that drew my attention … but who knows? Kevin Keats had UNC Wilmington as a consistent contender in the CAA, but following his departure the team took a dive for the worse. With new coach Takayo Siddle taking over this year and with him having served as an assistant under Keats, I’m looking for him to right the ship. He inherits a team that brings back four starters and gets the addition of Holy Cross transfer Joe Pridgen. Western Carolina returns three players and is a team that looks to be a middle of the pack Southern Conference team. Western Carolina will be a team that can score and it will be especially fun to watch Mason Faulkner really run the show this year. This team loves to shoot the ball from behind the arc and will have no issue putting up points.

The Pick: Over 151.5

UCLA -3.5 vs. San Diego State

A long day of basketball winds down with one of the best matchups of the day between UCLA and San Diego State. I’m a big momentum guy and loved the way UCLA ended its season going 8-2 down the stretch. To make things even better for this UCLA team they return all five starters — a big bonus in a preseason with limited practice time. San Diego State on the other hand had what could’ve been a dream season stopped in its tracks. While we won’t see the dominance from Malachi Flynn this will still be a very good San Diego State team — just one that I think will take some time to gel, especially when it comes to going up against a team that some are picking as a contender to win the PAC-12.

The Pick: UCLA -3.5