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COLLEGE BASKETBALL WEDNESDAY: VANDERBILT v LSU, TULANE v HOUSTON, AND FORDHAM v LOYOLA-ILLINOIS


Vanderbilt vs LSU


Coach Stackhouse has the Commodores playing well. At 8-6 in SEC play they are tied with Auburn for 5th in the conference. They're on a five-game winning streak including wins over Auburn and Tennessee. The other wins were over some of the bottom-feeders in the conference, which they won by 11, 8, and 3. They've certainly had their ugly losses, like the 101-41 destruction they suffered at the hands of Alabama, but they've only lost by double digits to Alabama and Kentucky in conference play.


On the other side is a team I bet against in their last game against South Carolina. In that one, I said it was worth looking to back whoever LSU is playing. South Carolina came through as an underdog to win outright by 9. LSU has lost 14 in a row, with their only conference win coming in the conference opener against Arkansas.


Maybe I'm missing something, but this is the line where I have the most discrepancy with the books today. Vandy is laying 1.5 and I'd take them up to 6.5, so I jumped in right away.


Pick: Vanderbilt -1.5 (-115) BetMGM




Tulane vs Houston


Betting against Houston is a scary proposition. They often take huge leads in the first half and coast to big victories, but let me share why I won't be backing them at home against Tulane.


Tulane is 5-2 ATS away and 10-3 ATS in conference play. One of those ATS losses was to Houston on January 17 when Houston beat them by 20, 80-60. This score does tip you off to the danger in backing Tulane in this one. Tulane's defense is not great, Houston's is, and if Tulane can't score they're in trouble. They regularly get to 90 points, but Houston hasn't allowed more than 77 this year. So why back them?


In the first game between these teams, Houston shot 50% from 3-point range, more than 15% over their season average. Tulane shot 23% from 3, which is more than 10% under their season average. I expect Houston to make it hard for Tulane on offense, but I do think they have a better showing than they did in game 1.


A couple of other factors I'm taking into account tonight. First, Houston doesn't generally blow people out at home. Against decent teams in conference play, they've won by 8, 6, (lost by 1), 6, and 6. Second, this is a game Tulane will get up for going against the only team above them in the conference standings after getting embarrassed in the first one.


I think Houston wins, but not by this much. I'll take the points.


Pick: Tulane +14.5 (-110) PointsBet




Fordham vs Loyola-Illinois


I'm 1-1 betting Fordham this year, and today we're going to break the tie. Fordham is coming off of a disappointing showing against the #1 team in the conference, VCU, getting hammered 80-61 on Saturday. That was a game where they had a chance to inch closer to VCU and stay in 2nd in the A10. Instead they turned the ball over 21 times, shot 33% from the field, and basically looked like they didn't belong. After a beating like that they either come out flat from the defeat or take out their frustration on their next opponent.


The lucky team that gets to find out is Loyola-Illinois. They have the great distinction of holding down last place in the A10 with only 3 conference wins. They had a nice win at home over St. Bonaventure, but that's a team that really struggles away from their own building. Loyola has struggled against the top teams in the conference, losing by 16, 4, 17, and 14 to Dayton, VCU, and St. Louis. This is Fordham's first crack at the Ramblers.


These teams are in different classes. Fordham should come in motivated. I think this line is too short.


Pick: Fordham -1.5 (-115) BetMGM

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