Quite possibly the noisiest voice on the FTN Bets roster, Brad Evans enthusiastically breaks down his favorite wagers on another filled-to-the-brim college basketball Saturday slate and tosses in a future worth exploring. Fade or follow? That, as always, is up to you.
Arizona at USC (USC -7.5, FanDuel)
Fee. Fi. Fo. Fum. I smell an underclassman. Evan Mobley is a giant in many areas. He’s a spindly 7-footer who protects the rim, plays unselfishly and can score in myriad ways. Unquestionably a lottery pick this upcoming NBA Draft, he and the Trojans are snoozing out West as Gonzaga continues to garner all of the headlines. USC has won 14 of its past 15 contests straight up, showcasing excellent team-wide balance, evidenced by its top-20 standing in offensive and defensive efficiency. Equally impressive for betting devices, the Trojans are 8-4 ATS at home and 12-6 ATS as the favorite. Arizona boasts talent, but it’s largely underachieved in February. Over their past five contests, the Wildcats are a laughable 250-plus in effective field-goal percentage offense and defense. USC’s disruptive length and prolific scoring ability inside give it a major advantage.
West Virginia at Texas (WVU +4, DraftKings)
The Lone Star State, freezing, in the dark and embroiled in controversy due to a certain leader’s actions.
Hopping on a plane bound for Cancun and avoiding Texas at all costs is warranted, at least basketball-wise.
How the Longhorns respond to the past week’s uneasy events is anyone’s best guess. It’s possible the week off better prepared them for Saturday’s tussle against the Mountaineers. No matter their mental state, it’s a very difficult matchup. WVU’s inside-outside combination of Derek Culver and Deuce McBride is a tall task for a ‘Horns defense that ranks No. 198 in effective field-goal percentage since January 21. UT’s scoring balance was the difference in their 72-70 victorious escape from Morgantown earlier this year. However, with the Mountaineers searing offensively over their past seven games totaling 1.20 points per possession and 41.4% from three, revenge will undeniably be served cold.
Colorado State to make the NCAA Tournament (+440, DraftKings)
Fort Fun residents prepare to back up the truck and raise an Odell’s 90 Shilling or three. The Rams are in an excellent position to make the Big Dance. Coming from this bracketologist, who’s crushed some dudes named Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm consistently over the past several years, the above line is a sensational value. As it currently stands, CSU is trending toward a No. 11 seed. Per selection committee requirements, Niko Medved’s bunch checks multiple boxes — strong strength of schedule (No. 39), multiple Quad 1 wins (2-3 record), zero Quad 3 or Quad 4 losses and a respectable NET ranking (47). For this ticket to cash, all the Rams have to do is dispense woeful Air Force to round out the Mountain West conference season and win 1-2 games in the league’s postseason tournament.
Achieve that and it will own the upper hand over myriad bubble teams with substantially weaker resumes.