Happy Holidays! After a long day without college hoops, we’re finally back in the thick of it with conference play!
Reeling in 2022, I have a few picks that will get you some extra cash for New Year’s Eve. Let’s hope it’s better than our 4-3 record on opening night.
As always, here to remind you that I am not a professional handicapper. Whether you fade or tail, we encourage you to wager responsibly.
If you like what I’ve given you, feel free to follow my action account (@nick_lorensen). On the season, I have a 133-109-9 record.
Davidson vs. Fordham
DraftKings Line: Even
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Watch: CBS Sports Network
After a 12-1 start to its season, Fordham will have its first real litmus test of the campaign against Davidson. Last season, although with different coaches, the Wildcats won all three matchups by a difference of three, 18 and 21.
The research between the two begins in the strength of schedule. Davidson sits at 179th in non-conference SOS on KenPom, beating South Carolina and San Francisco. They also battled into the final minutes of games against Charlotte, Delaware and Purdue. On the other hand, Fordham had the easiest non-conference schedule in all of college basketball, with its highest-ranked home win being against 277th-ranked Wagner.
Fordham also has a turnover problem, turning the ball over on 21.1% of their possessions. That’s not going to sit well against a fundamentally sound basketball team like Davidson, who ranks in the Top 55 of the country in that same mark on their offensive end.
The Pick: Davidson pk
Missouri State vs. Northern Iowa
DraftKings Line: Northern Iowa -2
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
Northern Iowa is hitting its stride at the right time, and it’s ready to make some noise in the Valley.
Coming off double-digit wins against top-165 programs in Saint Bonaventure and Towson, the Panthers will face another in 128th-ranked Missouri State.
The Bears though have struggled against top-170 programs, reeling in a 1-7 record. A lot of that can be accounted for with their bottom three free throw percentage in the country.
Northern Iowa on the other hand has a resurging defense, holding its opponents to under 70 points in three of the last four.
The Pick: Northern Iowa -2
Wyoming vs. Fresno State
DraftKings Line: Fresno State -1
When: 11:00 p.m. ET
Where: CBS Sports Network
Both these teams had tough non-conference slates, so it’s time to start fresh with league play. Once again, we’ll be looking at those schedules.
Wyoming has had its injury problems but has been competitive against teams outside of the Top 164. They sit at a 5-1 record. Fresno State, on the other hand, is a yucky 3-2 with two DI wins by single digits and the non-DI win on the slate being by 13.
They’ve both hit tough times losing their big men, but no one can really replace Orlando Robinson for Fresno State. Wyoming on the other hand has been able to supplement Graham Ike a little bit, as he should be able to come back soon.
The offense for Fresno State has been one of the most disappointing in the country while Wyoming has been one of the most surprising.
It will be interesting to see if Wyoming can exploit Fresno’s last-ranked average possession length on defense.
The Pick: Wyoming +1