The first week of the college basketball season was pretty subdued aside from that Gonzaga-Michigan State game on the aircraft carrier. Dedicated college hoop fans all appreciated the games, but most people probably didn’t know the sport had started.
Now we’re getting some good games. The Champions Classic had two fantastic games (Michigan State overtook Kentucky in double overtime and Kansas beat Duke as two underdogs won straight away) and Tuesday night features an intriguing clash between two top 11 teams.
No. 2 Gonzaga plays at No. 11 Texas in a game that will give us a good idea of where both teams are at this season. Texas is a 1.5 point favorite at BetMGM.
Gonzaga started the season by falling well behind Michigan State and then needed a late excitement to win. They held on to a 64-63 win as Michigan State failed to score on their last possession. As we saw in the Spartans’ win on Tuesday night, that’s a pretty good win for Gonzaga.
Texas’ two games were against UTEP and Texas Christian, but at least they won decisively. Texas beat UTEP by 15 points and beat Houston Christian by 51 points. Texas is deep and should be in or around the top 15 (or better) for most of the season.
I’m going to go with Texas in this case because they could be really good defensively and home field advantage is still a big deal. In any case, Gonzaga deserves credit for challenging himself with a real street game against a fantastic opponent. That’s good for the sport.
Here’s a first look at the sports betting table for Wednesday:
A good ESPN NBA doubleheader
There are some good pro games too. The Boston Celtics play the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of ESPN’s doubleheader, and the Golden State Warriors meet the Phoenix Suns in the late game.
The Celtics got off to a great 11-3 start but the Hawks are 9-5. You just beat the Milwaukee Bucks on the street. Atlanta is a good young team and they want to prove they are among the top teams in the east. I like Atlanta as a 2.5 point home underdog.
The Warriors got off to a disappointing 6-8 start, but they won three out of four. However, all three of those wins were achieved at home. Golden State is a shocking 0-7 on the road. Phoenix is only a 1.5 point home favorite and I think the Suns are covering.
The other marquee game of the night is the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Bucks. The Bucks are 3.5-point favorites against a Cavs team that has lost four straight games after a great start to the season.
Three NHL games
There’s a TNT doubleheader on a good night of sports on TV. The late game is the Los Angeles Kings at the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is a -150 favorite, but the Kings have been very good lately, winning four straight before that streak was halted at the Calgary Flames on Monday.
What’s the best bet?
While Texas, the Hawks and Suns are all contenders here, I’m picking the Bucks as my top bet of the day. Milwaukee has been great for most of the season when he’s healthy and I don’t think they’re going to lose at home twice in a row.