All season long we've offered our expertise on some of the toughest lines in the sport. Ladies man Dan Quirk has worked diligently for months as our unofficial Vegas informant, but a bunch of wacky spreads and 'that stupid parity thing' have threatened to burn him out before March could even get here. Hey, shit happens, right? So to avoid losing one of our own, we did the only thing we could think of: Lined his pockets with five dollar bills, loaded up a suitcase with bottles of Cuervo, and shipped him off to Atlantic City on the company dime.
Quirk's 32-31-1 career clip hardly inspired confidence. Let's win some money back...
Indiana @ Purdue (-12.5): Take Indiana - Two key things: 1.) Indiana's average margin of loss on the road this year is 10.14, but only 8.0 in conference play, and 2.) The Hoosiers played Michigan State (loss by 1 in OT), Wisconsin (loss by 9), Penn State (loss by 9), and Minnesota (loss by 4) tough on the road already this year. We're going to look to these four games with confidence that another similar outcome is on the horizon.. Even though I don't see a feasible way that Indiana can hang around long enough to win this one in the end (they are 0 for 7 on the road after all), the Hoosiers should put up a decent fight. Interesting: Both teams average 67 possessions/gm. More interesting: Jordan Hulls is among NCAA leaders in both True Shooting % (5th) and Effective FG% (7th).
Xavier @ Georgia (-5): Take Georgia - Win or lose, the Musketeers and Tu Holloway will go down as one of the most pleasant surprises in the A-10 this year. But non-conference home victories over Butler, Seton Hall and Wake Forest don't exactly inspire confidence. When they leave their own gym, Xavier's performance can only be described as rough while in conference play, and utterly anemic out of it. Their non-league road schedule reads as follows: Loss to Miami (OH) by 11. Loss to Gonzaga by 10. Loss to Cincinnati by 20. That's it, 0-3. Winless. We're talking about having to go down to Georgia and play a 16-6 Bullogs team that knocked off Kentucky a little over a week ago. Nope, not feeling it. Holloway might score 35 here, but I'd roll with Trey Thompkins and co.
Tennessee @ Kentucky (-8): Take Kentucky - The 'Cats have only played two home games all season that have any relevance here (Indiana, Georgia). They won by an average of 12.5 points in those. Not surprisingly, KenPom agrees and thinks we'll be seeing more of the same with his 76-63 prediction. Kentucky has dropped two straight games and badly needs this game. The Vols are usually a mess with or without Bruce Pearl screaming his head off, so pencil me in for a monster game from Terrence Jones and a double-digit victory at Rupp.