Dave Carney 12/29/2020
Overall record: 109-88
How did I get here?: Wow, another college hoops game and ANOTHER loss for me. The Wisconsin Badgers were hosting the Maryland Terrapins and were favored by 9.5 points (-9.5).
With only one loss this season, on the road versus Marquette, the Badgers had been flawless, especially at home. Beating ranked teams is one thing, but the way in which Wisconsin had been dispatching opponents it seemed more than logical to assume they’d have no issue covering the 9.5 point spread (-9.5) against Maryland, and send me to bed a winner, waking up in the morning refreshed and ready to talk about more Badgers dominance.
That however, did not happen. Maryland apparently didn’t get the memo that in order for me to feel self worth, winning my “Rocky’s Daily Play” is a big deal, and they ruined my night. The Terps not only covered their (+9.5) they won straight-up, 70-64.
Maryland showed all the grit, grind, energy and talent I expected to see two weeks back when I took them as a very slight home favorite against Rutgers, who went on to trounce the Terps by 14.
For whatever reason though, against all of my better instincts, I just can’t seem to keep away from college b-ball and am going RIGHT BACK to where it all started to unravel for me in college hoops…Rutgers..
**For more info on TOTAL plays, OVER/UNDER, and PLUS/MINUS plays check back through some previous columns for detailed information**
What’s on the table today?: Rutgers at home (-3) versus the Purdue Boilermakers.
**NOTE** On the show this morning I discussed BUYING DOWN the line for tonight’s game, but after some consideration decided to back away from that so I could dedicate an entire article to what BUYING DOWN points actually means, and why it’s really NOT a very good idea.
Rutgers is the very team that first started (recent) losing ways beating up on the same Maryland team that kicked my a*& last night. Makes sense that I should then GO to Rutgers, ask for some revenge, and start to turn around my fortunes in the 2020-21 season.
Tonight’s match up features a Rutgers team loaded with talent, including the son of former Cavs, Clippers and Bulls star Ron Harper, Ron Harper Jr., who’s averaging 23 points and 7 rebounds on the season while shooting over 56% from the field and 50% from downtown. Rutgers will also be blostered by the return (from back spasms) of second leading scorer Jacob Young who averages 16 points and nearly 6 assists a game. Young left in the 2nd half of the Rutgers 80-68 loss to OSU last Wednesday, a game that saw Rutgers surrender a 16 point lead.
The Scarlet Knights are also playing at home, at the RAC, a place that last season saw Rutgers become nearly unbeatable. The atmosphere won’t be the same without fans, but in five home games so far this season Rutgers hasn’t lost, and already has a win over #13 Illinois who is one of the best teams in the COUNTRY, not just the Big Ten.
For Purdue this evening, coming in off a nice 73-70 home win over Maryland, I see a bit of a let down against again, one of the best home teams in the Big Ten. Purdue hasn’t been particularly strong on the road this season either, getting 2 of their 3 losses handed to them on the road at Miami (58-54), and at Iowa (70-55), shooting poorly in both.
However, the Boilermakers do have some efficient players, and really do a good job of limiting opposing teams offensive rebounds, which in turn leads to fewer points scored by opposing teams on 2nd chances which aids Purdue’s defense. Tonight against Rutgers though I’m not sure that’ll be enough as Rutgers is one of the best shooting teams in the conference with an effective field goal percentage of 55.4, and a national adjusted offensive ranking of 32 meaning the Scarlet Knights can score.
We also want to consider some recent trends for these two squads when pressed against the spread (ATS), and how they’ve performed. Thanks today to Oddsshark.com for providing these tidbits:
- 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games vs. Rutgers
- 5-1 ATS in its last six Big Ten games
- 7-1 ATS in its last eight December games
If Purdue’s defense, road shooting woes, and defensive rebounding hold up Rutgers might be in for 1st first home loss, but after a Christmas break, a little rest and relaxation, and return from back spasms for Rutgers 2nd leading scorer Jacob Young I like Rutgers in this bounce back spot (-3).
REMEMBER – don’t bet based upon my recommendations. Do your research. Stay in your lane.