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Grant Golden
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Odds and Ends

North Florida vs North Bama, Weekend Preview

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: January 29, 2021, 3:27 pm ET

North Florida (-2) vs. North Alabama

With a 4-0 all-time record versus North Alabama, this spread seems surprisingly low, but both teams are impressive win streaks. North Florida is on a three-game streak, while North Alabama has won five straight.

In the four wins over North Alabama, North Florida has won by 9, 13, 16, and 29 points. Four of North Florida's six wins this season have come by five or fewer points. North Alabama has four of the nine wins this season coming against none-DI opponents and four against teams ranked 300th or worse in Kenpom rankings. Two of the four DI wins came in OT and another by single-digits -- making three of North Alabama's five DI wins by seven points or less.

Both squads have two similar opponents, Kennesaw State and Jacksonville. North Alabama swept both teams and came away with two wins by two or fewer points. North Florida went 3-1 against the two squads with a one-point loss to Jacksonville. North Florida has beat three of five DI squads by five or fewer points.

I expect this to be a close contest, but North Florida should have enough firepower to win the fifth straight game between the two. North Florida has five players with a 54% effective field goal percentage or higher, while North Alabama has two per Barttorvik. 

The favorite is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. North Alabama is 2-5-1 ATS in their previous eight road games. Three of the four models that I use have North Florida projected to win by one or more points. With a 4-0 SU record since 2018-19, I'll back that streak to continue in the first of a back-to-back. The Moneyline opened at -116 and is working its way up towards the -130 mark. Take the Moneyline up to -140 before pivoting to -2. 

Game Pick: North Florida ML (1u)

 

Saint Louis vs. Richmond (-1.5) - GAME POSTPONED DUE TO COVID

Saint Louis lost its first game back off a long layoff and Richmond had a dominating win over Saint Joseph's 79-56. Richmond is 1-4 SU in the last five meetings with Saint Louis. While I lean on Saint Louis to walk away with the win, I like the Over in this matchup.

Both squads feature impressive offenses that have been able to find the bottom of the net this season. Saint Louis ranks top 50 in effective field goal percentage (16th), two-point percentage (26th), three-point percentage (12th) and average offensive possession length (44th). Richmond ranks top 29 in adjusted offensive efficiency (26th), two-point percentage (23rd) and effective field goal percentage (29th).

In all of Richmond's losses this season, they have scored 71 or more in three-of-four games. In home games, the Spiders have scored 71 or more in five-of-six games. In Saint Louis' two losses, they have scored 71 and 82 points. The Billikens have scored 78 or more in six-of-seven wins and 71 or more in seven-of-eight contests. 

Between the two squads, at least one team has reached 71 points or more in four-of-five games. Last season was the first both teams finished Under 71 points. In the previous nine games, the Over is 7-2 overall for Saint Louis and 6-2 in Richmond's last eight home games.

Three-of-four of the Models I use predict the final score to go Over 144.5: 78-75 (153), 77-76 (153), 75-74 (149) and 74-68 (142). I would play this up to 145.5.

Game Pick: Over 144.5 (1u)

 

Top Three Games to Bet This Weekend

Clemson at Duke: Saturday 12:00 PM ET

Duke has won two of the last three meetings between the programs but lost last season's only meeting. Duke came away with a much-needed win over Georgia Tech, pushing the Blue Devils to 5-2 at home tonight. Clemson is 4-4 in the ACC and 1-3 over the previous three games. The Tigers also got a much-needed win in their last outing, a 54-50 win over Louisville.

Duke struggled from the field, going 44.8% from the field and 31.3% from three-point distance. Duke shot below 40% in the first half and used a substantial two-point drill to end the game on a seven-point win, covering the -6.5 spread. Clemson will likely enter as a +3 or +4-point underdog in Cameron Indoor. Expect this to be a close match, and defense could be the focus in this meeting as both teams have struggled offensively lately.

 

Alabama at Oklahoma: Saturday 12:00 PM ET

Alabama is rolling and so is Oklahoma. We could not ask for a better Big 12-SEC battle right now unless Baylor was involved. Oklahoma came through for us a few days ago, but this will be the season's toughest task. At home, the Sooners will take on a Crimson Tide team that has won 10 straight games. Oklahoma has now won four straight games, including wins over Texas and Kansas. 

This spread could open extremely low and betting on either side will have its benefits. I would argue to take Alabama if they are the underdog and live bet Oklahoma once they find themselves trailing. You could bet this vice-versa or take both teams live as underdogs or the spread. Either way, expect this game to feature some significant momentum swings, and Oklahoma is a solid candidate to knock off Alabama, who has LSU and Missouri next week.

 

Michigan State and Ohio State: Sunday 1:00 PM ET

Michigan State was destroyed on the road against Rutgers, suffering the first loss in program history to them on Thursday. Ohio State barely escaped a Penn State squad in Columbus, using some key plays down the stretch to earn a four-point win. This being a key Big Ten rivalry, I like the Buckeyes to get the win but it could be more competitive than Michigan State's last performance.

OSU's Head Coach, Chris Holtmann, is 1-4 versus Michigan State and has a favorable chance to earn his second win. This is, without a doubt, one of Sparty's weaker teams and the Buckeyes are only going to get better as the season goes on. Michigan State has won three straight versus Ohio State but based on recent performances, it is hard to trust or back the Spartans. 

Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and also a contributor on numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.