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Mid-Money Madness: Expect Buffalo to give the Wolverines a run for their money

Here’s what to bet on today in college basketball

NCAA Basketball: MAC Conference Tournament - Ohio vs Buffalo Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After an epic opening college basketball slate with 132 games, let’s go for another round. While Tuesday slate isn’t as massive, there are a few games worth keeping track of. The Mid-Money Madness column is back for another year of fun responsible betting of our favorite mid-major teams of the day. I break down four games on the slate today where I see a little bit of value. Like always we are bloggers, not professionals so take the advice with a grain of salt. All lines are provided by SB Nation’s sports book partner- Draftkings Sportsbook. Let’s have a Wednesday.

Buffalo @ Michigan

Spread: Buffalo +12.5

Total: 154

A preseason top-10 Michigan team being upset on opening week, a very familiar seen in college sports that we may see happen today. This line has had some major steam towards Buffalo’s way. There a lot of expectations for both teams. Michigan returns sophomore All-American Hunter Dickinson, but there is still turnover everywhere else. Michigan brings in top freshmen Caleb Houston and point guard DeVante Jones from Coastal Carolina. There definitely will be a transition in play style and chemistry between the star freshmen and transfer.

Buffalo quietly won 10 out of its last 11 games last year before losing to Ohio in the MAC title game. Buffalo was picked to finish first in the MAC preseason polls. The Bulls return four of their five starters including their two stars Jeenathan Williams (17.6 ppg) and conference defensive player of the year Josh Mballa (15.3 ppg). Mballa, standing at 6-foot-7, will give up plenty of size to Dickinson, but he will make up for it with strength and toughness in the low block. Despite being the MAC team, Buffalo has the athleticism to match up with Michigan and their guards can overwhelm Michigan’s undersized backcourt. Buffalo does a great job attacking in transition and dominating the offensive glass. The Bulls were ranked sixth nationally in offensive rebounding percentage last season and they ranked in the top 25 in defensive FG% and defensive 3-point percentage. If Michigan doesn’t come out with their A game, they could be in trouble. This play was super obvious when it was at +16 yesterday, but we will still take Buffalo at 12. It wouldn’t surprise me if Buffalo pulled the massive upset.

The pick: Buffalo +12.5

Penn @ Florida State

Spread: Florida State -19.5

Total: 146

After a year hiatus, we get the Ivy League back. Penn was picked to be the second-best team in the Ivy this season. They return star point guard Jordan Dingle, who was on his way to win Freshmen of the Year in the league two seasons ago. Dingle is the type of guy who can score in bunches. He is really dangerous in the pick and roll. He can step back off of the screen and nail a 3, or get downhill and get to his floater. However, going from taking a year off college basketball, to having to open up against an athletic Florida State team is a gigantic leap. The Seminoles added five-star wing Matthew Cleveland and Houston transfer Caleb Miles. They bring back guards Anthony Polite and RayQuan Evans. This should be an up-tempo game that should feature plenty of scoring. Penn ranked in the top 75 in pace the last time they played, and made 55% of their two-point field goals. Florida State is an athletic mismatch for them on the offensive end, and the rust will be felt on that side of the ball figuring out defensive rotations and getting back in transition. Offense is a more natural part of their game and they should be able to score. Florida State scores 85 and Penn scores in the mid sixties. That’s enough to get us an over.

The pick: over 146

FAU @ New Mexico

Spread: New Mexico +1

Total: 140.5

A new era starts in the PIT tonight as Richard Pitino will be coaching his first game for the New Mexico Lobos. He has a young team with tons of inexperience, but there is some talent there. (Our own Isabel Gonzales did a story on the Lobos big man Birmia Seck: https://www.midmajormadness.com/2021/11/8/22762772/new-mexico-lobos-ncaa-basketball-college-birima-seck-richard-pitino-mountain-west-starters.)

The Lobos are lead by Arizona State transfer Jaelen House and Minnesota transfer Jamal Mashburn. FAU loses their top four contributors but bring back Bryan Greenlee and Michael Forrest at guard. This seems to be a huge rebuilding year for the Owls despite three winning seasons in a row. The PIT is a tough place to play with the altitude and the rabid fanbase so I will take Pitino to get a win in his New Mexico debut.

The pick: New Mexico +1

Fairleigh Dickinson @ Seton Hall:

Spread: Seton Hall -26.5

Total 148

When researching this game, everybody is telling you to pick Seton Hall. So, naturally, we are going to pick Knights in this one. The Big East is pretty weak. As a conference they went 3-5 ATS. The Knights have four underclassmen in their starting rotation. This may get ugly quick, but 26.5 points is a big number for non-NCAA Tournament team. We like chaos here at triple M. Brandon Rush is a 14 points per game scorer for the Knights. Seton Hall will need to find a replacement for 6-foot-10 big Sandro Mamukelashvili. They should get that in a combination of Syracuse transfer Kadary Richmond and South Florida transfer Alexis Yetna. With so many new lineup combinations and questions regarding Hall, I can’t justify giving up that many points. Root for chaos, let’s see what the young Fairleigh Dickinson is all about.

The pick: FDU +26.5