SFBE commandant Nick Fasulo's three flawless picks last night had me nervous I'd be out of a job like Wally Pipp. Instead, I'll be making my illustrious return as handicapper with a game slate that pales in comparison to the six-headed monster that the ESPN family of networks served us last night.
Providence @ West Virginia (-9.5): Take Providence- The Friars are winless in conference and are coming off their worst half of basketball this year when they allowed 52 second half points to Rutgers in a disappointing loss. West Virginia has two Big East wins in a row. Look closer and you'll see Providence took both Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the brink before losing, while West Virginia's two wins are over DePaul and a seriously overrated Georgetown team. This should be evenly matched throughout with Providence living and dying with Marshon Brooks, one of the Big East's best scorers. West Virginia may hold serve at home, but not by ten points.
Purdue @ Minnesota (+3): Take Purdue- Thanks to Penn State's penchant for upsets, Purdue is surprisingly the second best team in the Big Ten. The most dominant big man in the conference,
Jared Sullinger JaJuan Johnson wears the black and gold as does the most explosive wing in E'Twaun Moore, but that's not all. They've got a 4-0 Big Ten start in large part to Ryne Smith, a sharpshooter from Toledo. With this kind of triple scoring threat, floundering Minnesota won't be able to match up. The Gophers won't be starting 2nd leading scorer Trevor Mbakwe, who has been spending a bit too much time on social media site, Facebook.
San Francisco @ St. Mary's (-21.5): Take San Francisco- This game has no real significance on anyone's life that will probably be reading this, but it may be a good pick if you're a bettin' man. Vegas puts this spread so high because the Gaels have won six of their last eight by twenty points or more. In fairness, they haven't played anybody. San Francisco has beaten Colorado, lost by just six to San Diego State, and has a three game winning streak going. Expect the Dons to keep it inside 20, and win you a little money.