College hoops is officially underway! After going through the board on Thanksgiving, a few spots jump out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook. We’ll go over those spots, but some of the best bets on Wednesday were betting in-game. The market seemed way off on some live lines, so feel free to follow along on Twitter and I’m going to do my best to get those out — @julianedlow.
I’ve been on this spot for a while and locked it in at -3, but I’d play it up to -4.5. The Zags are my top-ranked team in the country, and face a Kansas squad that could struggle early. Gonzaga not only adds a stud freshman to the lineup in Jalen Suggs, but also gets Andrew Nembhard eligible this season at the last minute. Nembhard was one of Florida’s best players last season, and will step in as a huge contributor right away. The Jayhawks are losing three of their top-five from last year, including their two best players — Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. I’m looking for the Zags to show the nation why they’re the best team in the country. I’ve bet them at +1000 to win it all.
On Wednesday, we saw Abilene Christian as the biggest line movement of the day. I played them -1.5, and the line hit -8.5 before closing around -7. The fade was on East Tennessee State, which lost 70-47. We saw the same thing on Thursday, with ETSU opening as just a five-point dog to Austin Peay, an even better team than ACU. The value might be gone, but this one should still probably be a few points heavier on AP. Expect another double-digit game.
VCU got an outright win as 3.5-point underdogs against Utah State on Wednesday, putting together a very impressive second half. I actually faded them and backed Utah State, but despite all the bodies the Rams lost from last season, they looked fantastic. I was on the wrong side, and am turning to them against West Virginia a day later. WVU is a very solid team with Final Four hopes, but not the type of team that should blow out a squad as scrappy as VCU. WVU only managed an 8-point victory over South Dakota State on Wednesday.
St. Mary’s hung with Memphis for a while on Wednesday, but eventually collapsed and lost by 17. This team lost a ton from last season, and I expect them to continue struggling early. Northern Iowa’s comeback fell just short against Western Kentucky on Wednesday, but the Hilltoppers are a legit tournament team — evident by the short line against Memphis on Thursday. Expect UNI’s experience to come through against a much lesser team in St. Mary’s.
URI and Boston College both looked terrific in close losses to highly ranked teams in Arizona State and Villanova yesterday. They held leads late in the second half before falling apart, but Rhody had a clear reason it fell apart. The Rams’ best player picked up four fouls in the first half, and then fouled out with five minutes left in the game. Fatts Russell has more than just a cool name, he’s a lightning fast PG that can score from anywhere on the floor, and looked great finding his teammates in good spots to score. Down as many as 16, basically with Russell on the bench the whole first half, he led them back in the second half. URI probably wins if Russell never fouls out, so I’ll trust that doesn’t happen today, and the Rams best the Eagles.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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