This comes after looking at the lines and some Early consensus numbers from Wagerline. Leans are bolded.
Memphis -19 v CSU Northridge:
Memphis finished the year with the highest Pomeroy rating and best DEFF and Adjusted DEFF in the nation. Still, Pomeroy only projects this as an 18 point line. I’m not eager to fade a team that has been bashed from every angle for playing in a week conference. This seems like a fair line to me.
Texas -4 v. Minnesota:
I know its early, but the Wagerline splits really confused me on this one. Texas getting almost 80% of the early picks really stood out. Pomeroy has this one as a one point game. The problem I have with this one, is that neither Texas nor Minnesota appeared in the final top-25 polls, which leads me to believe the perception of them is fairly accurate. This one is a small lean to Minny, and I am going to monitor the line moves and consensus numbers
Oklahoma -16.5 v. Morgan St:
OU pulled down a number two seed, finished the year 27-5 and is ranked 8th in the final ESPN poll. Their Pomeroy ranking is only 17th, though, which has never caught up to their lofty public perception. Morgan State has road win over Maryland on the season, and decent losses to St. Marys and Washington. The Maryland win is probably not as impressive as most people make it out to be, while the Washington loss is more impressive. This lean is mainly going against an overrated OU team.
Villanova -17.5 v. American:
Villanova is playing a home game against an Ivy League Lite opponent and only laying -17.5. Pomeroy says 13, but he has it classified as a “semi-home” game and considering Villanova played multiple games in this Arena this season I would call it a full home game. Like Morgan St. I think this is a regular play.
Gonzaga -11.5 v. Akron:
Pass. No one has Gonzaga as the fifth best team in the country like KenPom does so I am not really too concerned about which way the public bets. Not surprisingly this is the first of game that I have looked at where KenPom has the favored team by more than the Vegas line(13). The best idea here is pass, then root for Gonzaga to win by one and look at the Zags in the next round against Ill or more preferably WKU.
Purdue -8 v. Northern Iowa:
Ehh. It is hard to get too excited about this one. Purdue is coming off the Big11 championship, but I am not sure what the perception of this team is. This line seems exceedingly fair, and Pomeroy agrees, Pass.
Duke -21.5 v. Binghamton
Duke is getting a pretty low amount of attention compared to the other high seeds on Wagerline. Binghamton features some street ballers in Tiki Mayben and DJ Rivera that could possibly spread Duke out and give them some trouble. By trouble, I mean cover the spread. Pomeroy has Duke -21, Duke has been underrated for most of this season, this one is a pass, too.
UNC -26.5 v. Radford:
I don’t know what to make of this UNC team at the moment. I need to look at what people think about them before making a judgement. For now, this one is not making the cut.
UConn -21 v. Chattanooga:
Another team that I am having a hard time gauging the public perception. Slight lean to UConn here, given an early exit to the BigEast tournament, and past struggles in the first round, but I’m not getting too excited laying 21 against a 18-16 team.
Clemson -5.5 v. Michigan:
Clemson painfully lost to Villanova in the first round of last year’s tournament and has been awful of late, losing 4 of their last 5. I think they are the right side here, but I am waiting for a potential matchup with OU. Clemson is only ranked 5 spots higher in the Pomeroy’s than OU.
LSU -2.5 v. Butler:
Last year I absolutely loved this Butler team during the NCAA Tournament. “This Butler team” is a loose phrase, because they graduated so many of the players on last year’s team. This season, Butler has been incredibly overrated. However, I am in no rush to jump on the bandwagon of the boys from Red Stick. Root for close games with UNC and Butler wins setting up a possible second round fade of Butler. Tough draw, though, for those like myself who came in with the idea to fade Butler.
Illinois -4 v. Western Kentucky:
I don’t understand the logic behind people who are jumping on WKU early. They went to the sweet 16 last year, people know who they are. They have been overrated all season long, and will continue to be so on Thursday. Illinois is ranked 24th in the Pomeroy’s and projected to win this game by 9 by KenPom. Western Kentucky is 40 spots lower in the Pomeroy’s this season.
Washington -5 v. Mississippi St.
Reminds me a lot of Georgia last year. Pomeroy has this by 8, and I can see the value in Washington, but I am not to anxious to back the regular season Pac-10 champions against a team that went 9-7 in the terrible SEC
UCLA -7 v. VCU:
Done. Done and done. Raise your hand if you think UCLA is a top-10 team. Pomeroy does. Raise your hand if you have heard of VCU and Eric Maynor? Most people. Given their first round upset of Duke a few years back, and UCLA being generally underrated this is a solid lean to the Bruins.
Cal -1.5 v. Maryland:
Who cares? Cal is probably overrated, Maryland is definitely overrated, there are better places to lose your money this weekend.
BYU -2.5 v. Texas A&M:
BYU is one of those teams that has been loved by the computer all season long. Pomeroy has this one by 6, but I would be careful making a decision based on that. Slight lean to BYU, but I doubt this ends up becoming a play.