BANKER (Grand Canyon vs. Arizona State)
Grand Canyon is a team out of the Western Athletic Conference who has emerged the last few years as a power out west. They are off to another solid start this year with an 8-1 record with their only loss coming to a solid Wyoming team. Grand Canyon is a team who gets it done with their defense as they are 22nd in the country in defensive effective field goal percentage and 25th in defensive 3P%.
This does not bode well for an Arizona State team who has struggled mightily on the offensive end this year. Arizona State is off to a 3-6 start, largely because they have only put up greater than 70 points in 3/9 games so far. And in game they only scored 29 points… in 40 minutes, which is almost unheard of in today’s game of basketball. Now Arizona State is coming off their best win of the season in and overtime win at Oregon where they were nearly 10-point underdogs.
I think this is a very good let down spot for Arizona State as their complete body of work has shown that they are not a very good offensive team who struggled against defensive focused teams. Arizona State struggled a lot offensively vs UC Riverside, Loyola Chicago, and SDSU. All somewhat considered mid major teams known for their defense and Grand Canyon fits that mold perfectly.
I expect Grand Canyon to control the tempo and lock Arizona State down on the defensive end and think they will be able to knock down enough outside shots to keep this game close. I’d sprinkle the ML here too as well as I think Grand Canyon has a solid shot to win outright but I’m taking the points just to be safe. Score Prediction: 71-67 Grand Canyon.
Colgate is a team I’ve bet on many times already this season and they get a favorable matchup here against an offensively challenged PITT team. Pitt is off to a dreadful 2-6 start on the year, and they’ve failed to score over 63 points in 7/8 games and have failed to score over 60 points in 5/8. This game will not be played in the 50s and 60s as Colgate runs a very efficient offense that leads to a lot of open 3 points shots.
Guys like Nelly Cummings and Jack Ferguson for Colgate can take over the game in a hurry if they get got from the outside and I think the overall talent from Colgate will prevail over the toughness that a squad like PITT brings to the table. Pitt is also coming off a demoralizing loss to Virginia where they were nearly 15-point underdogs and had a chance to win outright, up 4 with 24 seconds left but let that one slip away on a buzzer beater from Virginia. I think Colgate will control the pace and their offense will be too much for PITT to keep up with. Score prediction: Colgate 74-65
This Hampton line is a bit of a head scratcher as William and Mary is one of the worst teams in the entire country. William and Mary is 1-9 with their line win coming against D3 Mary Baldwin University. Sometimes record can be deceiving but this is not the case as William and Mary has actually gone 0-9 ATS this year with 8 of those losses coming by at least 12 points of more.
Hampton is not a very good team in their own right but they have been playing much better over the last month of the season and just picked up a huge win against Norfolk state on a crazy buzzer beater. They also kept things respectable against solid teams in Wofford and south Florida, so I believe Hampton has played the tougher schedule to this point as well. Bottom line is I have this game closer to a Pk and I see a ton of value getting them at +150/160 here in an underdog spot. Score prediction: 71-68 Hampton.