#2 Duke (-12) vs. Pitt
Brainiac: The betting line has moved back and forth all day, making it to -14 at one point. If it had gotten to 16 or over, I was going to go with my alma mater to cover. But since it got back down to -12, I’m going to have to go with the Dukies on this one. They’re the most talented team in the country, and it’s going to be scary once they put it all together. Pitt has improved by leaps and bounds since last season. Trey McGowens and Xavier Johnson will be able to keep up with the Blue Devils and should score double digits. I just worry about how the rest of the team will do, though. I expect Pitt to keep it close in the first ten minutes or even the first half, but I think talent will prevail once the Oakland Zoo settles down. As much as it hurts to say it, Duke -12 is the play here.
Disco: I love the Pitt Panthers but I don’t see this going their way tonight. Even with Duke missing Tre Jones, Pitt is going to be severely undermatched. Pitt will compete and do some good things throughout, but Duke is going to control this one. Duke -12 is a safe bet, and I think 12 might even be a little bit of a small line for this one.
#22 Mississippi State vs. #8 Kentucky (-7.5)
Brainiac: Much like Duke, Kentucky has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The Wildcats are at home for this one, and I trust Kentucky in Rupp Arena against a ranked SEC opponent. Kentucky is coming off a huge win on the road against Auburn. I don’t know much about Mississippi State, but that doesn’t matter in this matchup. It’s going to be all Kentucky in this one, so take Kentucky -7.5.
#16 Auburn (-8.5) vs. South Carolina
Brainiac: Auburn is coming off a heartbreaking home loss against Kentucky. South Carolina is still trying to get over their blowout loss to SEC foe LSU. The Gamecocks only have one loss in SEC play so far, and I expect them to keep it close at home against Auburn. The Tigers are without their 6’11 big man, Austin Wiley. I’m a huge believer in home-court advantage for college basketball, and that’s what’s going to keep this game close. I think South Carolina has enough to win this game or at least cover. Play with Cocks +8.5.
Minnesota at #5 Michigan (-12)
Disco: Michigan just suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday in Madison. They only dropped a few spots to #5, and they’re poised to stay in the top 5 as the Big Ten is on the weak side this year. I’m taking Michigan -12 easy over an underwhelming Gophers squad.
#18 Villanova at Butler (-1.5)
Disco: This line was a bit surprising to me. Nova is one of the hottest teams in the country and has seemed to solve their early season issues. We know Paschall and Boothe can play, but the younger guys are starting to step up, and Jelly Q has been somewhat freed from his spot on the bench. Playing at Butler is tough, but there is no coach in the country that prepares his guys than Jay Wright. Nova -1.5 here.