I woke up this morning not quite sure what to do with myself. I've had a solid routine for roughly the last five or six months when the college football season was approaching. I had my daily duties as a college football writer for CBSSports.com that included the weekly features I write, mixed with doing multiple episodes of The Cover 3 Podcast, as well as random and scheduled CBSSports HQ hits. Then, on top of all that, I've been writing this newsletter for you every single weekday.
So, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, my day was budgeted. Whether it was writing, researching for what I was going to write, talking, researching what I was going to talk about, or just plain watching the games I would have to eventually write or talk about, my days had been pretty full.
But then I woke up this morning, and the college football season was over. I didn't have a column I had to write, only this newsletter. When you haven't had much free time over a long stretch, suddenly having some can throw you for a loop! Of course, I know it won't last long, so I'm enjoying it while I can, and do you know what I love to do almost more than anything when I have free time?
I love to read. Stories like these in particular.
- It's never too early to look at next season's preseason top 25, though I am raising an eyebrow about where Dennis Dodd has Alabama.
- Twiddling their thumbs is hurting the Yankees.
- 49ers DC Robert Saleh is reportedly set for a second interview with the Jets.
- Augusta National is hopeful to have a limited number of patrons at The Masters.
And now, the picks!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 7 Michigan, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Wisconsin +3.5 (-110): Michigan enters this game with a perfect record of 10-0 and ranked higher than Wisconsin in the AP Poll, so of course it's favored. But should it be favored by this much? Don't get me wrong, Michigan isn't some fluke team that's gotten lucky to this point. But Wisconsin is the best team the Wolverines have faced so far this season by a good margin. Also, the homecourt advantage doesn't have nearly the same impact in an empty arena.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin is currently rated in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. It has a size advantage over the Wolverines, and it's got a deeper rotation of players. Plus, the one area I think Wisconsin can truly exploit Michigan is at the three-point line. Opponents are hitting threes against Michigan at a 34.8 clip, which ranks the Michigan defense at 229th nationally. Wisconsin is shooting 41.4% from three this year, which ranks fourth. This feels like a bad matchup for the Wolverines. I'm taking the points, but if you can find Wisconsin at +150 or better on the money line, I'm good with that too.
Key Trend: The underdog is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The SportsLine Projection Model has simulated the top-10 battle between the Badgers and Wolverines 10,000 times and released its results.
💰 The Picks
🏀 College Basketball
Providence at Marquette, 9 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Marquette -3.5 (-110) -- I sometimes wonder if I like Marquette better than everybody else because the Golden Eagles always seem to be undervalued on the market. Yes, I know that this is a Marquette team that is only 6-6 on the season, but its worst loss of the year came on the road by three points to a Xavier team currently ranked No. 52 by KenPom. This team has played one of the most difficult schedules in the country, and tonight it gets a Providence team that just lost on the road to Xavier on Sunday night.
So that's two road games in a few days against a Marquette team that's had a week off. I won't be surprised if Providence makes a game of this early and even has a lead at halftime, but Marquette should pull away in the second half against a Providence team that isn't very deep.
Key Trend: The favorite is 16-6 ATS in the last 22 meetings.
Nuggets at Nets, 7:30 p.m. | TV: League Pass
The Pick: Nets -1.5 (-110) -- While the Kyrie Irving drama continues off the court -- who could have seen that coming? -- the rest of the Nets will play a game tonight, and Kevin Durant will be back. Even without Kyrie, I think there's value on the Nets with the line here. Denver continues to be one of the worst defensive teams in the league, and tonight the Nuggets will be playing their third road game in four nights. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has only played once in the last four days and has only played one road game since the end of December. I'm confident the Nets will be the fresher team with Durant back and take care of a tired Nuggets squad.
Key Trend: Denver is only 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games on a day's rest.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Advanced Computer Model has a very strong lean on the total in tonight's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
💸 The DFS Rundown
PG: Stephen Curry, Warriors
SG: James Harden, Rockets
SF: Kevin Durant, Nets
PF: Damontas Sabonis, Pacers
C: Rudy Gobert, Jazz
PG: George Hill, Thunder
SG: Lu Dort, Thunder
SF: Justin Holiday, Pacers
PF: Trey Lyles, Spurs
C: Marc Gasol, Lakers
Full lineup advice
Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.
🏀 NBA Player Props
- Jarrett Allen Double Double (+105)
- Jarrett Allen Over 1.5 assists (-140)
- Kevin Durant Over 5.5 assists (-110)
- Malcolm Brogdon Over 4.5 rebounds (-130)