The Mid-Money Madness column is finally back after a month-long hiatus with a great weekend of action ahead. While Saint Louis’s game against Richmond was called off, there are still games with major implications out west, and we are here to break them down. Also, if you enjoy tailing or fading my picks, you can follow my tallysight profile to track every bet I make for the rest of this season.
*As always, we are not professional handicappers and right these articles for entertainment purposes only. Please gamble responsibly.
Boise State at Colorado State
Spread: Boise St -2.5
First place in the Mountain West Conference is on the line tonight on FS1. On Wednesday, Colorado State beat Boise State, 78-56, with an offensive onslaught, shooting over 60 percent from two-point range and over 40 percent from three. The undersized Rams also held a 40-24 rebounding advantage over the lengthy Broncos. We are betting Boise State — a clear NCAA Tournament team — wakes up in this one. I don’t expect Colorado State to have two consecutive hot shooting nights against Boise’s top-50 defense. I think Boise gets improved games from Emmanuel Akot and Marcus Shaver. This has all the signs of a Boise bounce-back and I’m riding with the Broncos.
The pick: Boise State -2.5
CSUN at Cal Poly
Spread: CSUN -5
TV: Big West network:
Don’t let the ESPN app fool you — Cal Poly is playing the Matadors not UC Riverside on Friday afternoon. This is a situation where we are fading one of the worst teams in college basketball. Cal Poly is on an eight-game losing streak and six out of their last seven losses have been by 15 or more points. They are among the worst offensive teams in the country, ranking 344th in offensive efficiency and 343rd in effective field goal percentage. Northridge displays poor effort on the defensive end, but I don’t think they are going to have to work much to defend Cal Poly here. CSUN will have by far the most talented player on the court with Texas A&M transfer TJ Starks leading the way. He should have his way against a Cal Poly defense that has limited athleticism and struggles to defend the perimeter. CSUN’s pace and athleticism should give the Mustangs and trouble and they will simply run them out of the gym. Give me the Matadors in this Big West matchup.
The pick: CSUN -5.
Ohio at Buffalo
Spread: Buffalo -2
We’ve got primetime college basketball MACaction on ESPNU. This is going to be an extremely entertaining matchup between two of the conference's best teams. My advice is to just make some popcorn and bet the over because nobody is getting stops in this one. Yes, I realize an over of 160 is madness in college basketball, but this one is justified. First, Buffalo plays at the eighth-fastest pace in the country. The Bulls are top-15 nationally in fast-break points and are playing an Ohio team that is allergic to defense. Ohio ranks 274th in effective field goal percentage defense and 222nd in defensive efficiency. Buffalo has scored over 80 in eight out of its last nine games. I think the Bobcats can easily get to that number here. While Ohio is bad on defense, it is electric on the offensive side. Ohio ranks 26th overall in effective field goal percentage and 56th in offensive efficiency. Ohio has five scorers averaging double-figures, led by NBA-bound guard Jason Preston, who is averaging 16.5 points per game. Ohio has hit the 80-point mark in four of its last five games and plays at an average pace that should get faster against Buffalo. The over is high, but I think it should be higher.
The pick: Over 160.5
New Mexico State at Grand Canyon
Spread: GCU -4.5
Bryce Drew is taking his first shot at the kings of the WAC Friday night. New Mexico State has dominated the series since GCU has gone D-I, winning 14 out of 16. The Lopes and Aggies are virtually neighbors with New Mexico State practicing in Phoenix because of COVID restrictions in New Mexico. The Aggies will be playing short-handed without point guard Jabari Rice. The matchup against the Lopes will only be New Mexico State’s second D-1 game this season. This the first matchup between these two teams where GCU is more talented has a size advantage and is deeper. The coaching mismatch between Jans and Drew is much smaller than it was when Dan Majerle was at the helm. Also, the Lopes will have about 900 Havocs in attendance for this game so it should feel like a true road game for the Aggies. I think the Lopes are in a great spot and it’s a tough ask for the Aggies to play their first non-conference game at GCU. Some may say the pick is biased as GCU grad, but I unbiasedly like the Lopes here. If GCU can’t beat NMSU tonight, it’ll never happen. Give me Grand Canyon.
The pick: GCU -4.5