Texas ML -286 4 units
UVA +4.5 3 units
Texas gives up 63.3 points a game and this will be one of the better defenses VCU has seen all year. VCU had far too many turnovers in their last game against Old Dominion. Justin Tillman was just named A10 player of the week and will have to continue his tough work in the paint if VCU wants to pull out a win. One of the few highly regarded recruits that has stayed since these coaching changes, De’Riante Jenkins, has been great for the rams this season. Jenkins will need to drop at least 20 if VCU wants to beat their former coach. Shaka struggled in his first two seasons at Texas, but it looks like this could be the year where he rights the ship. Shaka used to shop at the humble grocery store Kroger, off Broad St in Richmond near the Siegel Center. No telling where he shops now that Texas gave him a 3 million dollar per year deal untill 2022.
Who doesn’t love UVA basketball? The slow ugly style they play is enjoyable. If you are a beginner in watching UVA basketball, you may hate it; however, there is something to admire about great defense. Their style is reminiscent of Big 10 football. They beat Wisconsin by 12 and UVA only scored 49 points!! Slow and Steady wins the race. Virginia does not have the firepower they had when they had Malcom Brogdon and others, but I think they will have enough to cover against WVU. Nigel Johnson, the UVA transfer from Kansas State, is 1-3 vs WVU. He will be able to help his team out with the little things in this game. West Virginia does have an experienced backcourt, but it will not be enough.
Also, if you are bored around 9PM eastern. Just turn on the Duke game to see Marvin Bagley III. The guy is amazing and this is coming from a UNC fan. Plus you may get another Allen trip that would send twitter into the biggest sports mayhem since that Peterman guy threw 5 picks in a half for the Bills.
Suns +13.5 4 units
Jazz +7 3 units
Blazers -5.5 4 units
Devin Booker is fresh off a season high of 46 points. I think he keeps the ball rolling here against a solid at home Raptors team. The former North Carolina State standout T.J. Warren has been playing well this season and he presents a tough matchup for Ibaka and Jonas. Also, the Suns interim head coach, Jay Triano, was the first Canadian born head coach in the NBA. Suns get the Canadian coaching boost in Toronto.
Gobert is back and the Thunder have not beaten anybody by 7 in their last 5 games. I do like the Thunder more at home, but I could see the Jazz winning this one outright. Jazz are 4-1 in the second night of a back 2 back. They have a good back 2 back record because of their sound defense and inside scoring. Alec Burks will outscore Carmelo as the Jazz keep it close.
The Wizards looked like shit against the Jazz and will be without Wall against the Blazers. The Wiz need the mojo that Wall offers, especially against a team led by the notorious rapper Dolla Dame. Blazers are only 7-6 at home, but usually dominate in the Moda center. I think their home wins start to trend upwards toward previous year’s means starting with a win against the Wizards tonight.
PSG +0 2 units
Chelsea +0 2 units
Basel +0 2 units
PSG is 3 points ahead of Bayern when they travel to Munich on Tuesday. PSG has scored a staggering 24 goals and are making Barcelona miss Neymar more and more. Munich has gone through a coaching change recently and they have *only* 10 goals in this group stage. Bayern may be favored, but I am betting on PSG +0 +115 for 2 units as I see this game ending in a tie. I am not betting the tie because I trust Cavani, Neymar, and Mbappe more than Lewandowski.
Chelsea and Hazard looked back to their dominant selfs over the weekend against Newcastle. Atletico is coming into form as well, but I do not think they can do enough to get a win here against Chelsea at home. There is some juice here at -185, but I’ll take it because worst case scenario I see a tie in this one. My prediction would be a 2-1 Chelsea win.
The Basel bet at -130 is simply a Benfica fade. Benfica has scored one goal this whole group stage and Basel has actually looked quite strong. Basel sits at second in the group beating out Moscow by goal differential alone. Moscow plays Man U so Basel has to think if they can get a win here they move on. They will be playing their hardest and Benfica hasn’t looked good when they have something to play for — and now they do not have much to play for.
Dwayne Bacon will be everything the Charlotte Hornets wanted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to be. MKG was drafted with the 2nd pick in the 2012 draft after Anthony Davis, but before Bradley Beal. Dwayne Bacon was drafted 40th in the 2017 draft after Jawun Evans, but before Tyler Dorsey. The Hornets saw MKG as a great defender/rebounder that could hopefully develop better shooting mechanics. Bacon is different in the sense he is already a scorer, but needs to develop on defense. Steve Clifford may be the perfect coach for this situation; whereas, the Spurs with Chip Engelland may have been better suited to coach MKG.
Subscribers of the YouTube channel Home Team Hoops will know Dwayne Bacon (and Corey Sanders) and how hard they have been working down in Lakeland Florida. Corey played well at Rutgers this past year and could have gone into the draft this year. This year’s class was loaded and he opted to go back to college for another year. Bacon was in a similar situation to his friend. Dwayne is a first-round talent, but this class was stacked so he slipped and the Hornets got lucky. Dwayne said back in 2015 that “I’m the next Jordan” and after watching summer league and studying his work ethic, this may not be a lie, like most people thought when he said it.
Why would the “next Jordan” slip to the second round? There is obviously a huge emphasis on the 3-point shot in the NBA nowadays (Exhibit A: Warriors). Bacon does not have a 3-point shot right now and this was shown in the summer league. He knows this and this awareness helps him stay within his own game where he can dominate. He averaged a solid 15.2 points a game in the Orlando Summer League; however, he shot only 20% from 3-point land. This would be worrisome for the Hornets, but he clearly has a good shooting stroke showcased by his 100% free-throw percentage in Orlando. Once he extends his range, he will be an efficient offensive NBA player.