I don't have any NBA picks for you tonight. The NBA is already difficult to bet during the regular season, and it's a lot more difficult on the day of the trade deadline, when seemingly half the league is being traded. As you already know, Kevin Durant was traded from Brooklyn to Phoenix last night, but while that's been the biggest deal of the day, plenty more followed. Make sure you keep up with all of it at CBSSports.com.
Also, try and get some sleep. With the Nets imploding, that's one fewer contender in the Eastern Conference, and with both Durant and Kyrie Irving going to the Western Conference, that's a lot more late nights staying up to watch playoff games this spring.
Thankfully, I'm a Bulls fan, so I won't have to worry about watching too many playoff games this year. Instead, I can sit by and wait for the news that the Bulls have signed Russell Westbrook on a vet minimum contract because that'll fix it. Anyway, while I ponder that, you can read these stories.
Now let's bet on some kids who will one day be dealt at the NBA Trade Deadline!
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- Key Trend: Iowa is 11-3 ATS at home and 3-6 ATS anywhere else.
- The Pick: Purdue -8 (-110)
Want to know how to make a Purdue fan angry? All you have to do is ask a question along the lines of, "if Zach Edey was 6'8 instead of 7'4, would he even be good? Like, what's his actual talent besides being gigantic?" It drives them nuts. What makes it perfect is that there's some truth to both sides.
On the one hand, of course, Zach Edey, as we know him, wouldn't be the same player if he was 6'8. But on the other side, while Edey's huge, it's not like he isn't talented! No, he's not a three-point shooter, which probably puts a limit on his NBA career. Nor is he a tremendous athlete. But he's not a bad shooter. He's shooting 73.2% from the free-throw line this season and 62.7% from the floor.
The more pertinent question is: do the Hawkeyes have anyone capable of matching up with him tonight? While Filip Rebraca (6'9, 230) is the biggest guy Iowa has, he's not going to stretch the floor. He's only attempted five three-pointers all season, and isn't somebody you have to defend on the perimeter. The Hawkeyes are also a poor rebounding team. They do all right on the offensive glass, thanks to some long rebounds from all the threes they take, but they're one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the Big Ten
Purdue is one of the best. The Boilermakers will likely get extra possessions and shots tonight, thanks to Edey cleaning up. Finally, for as good as Iowa can be offensively, it's terrible on the defensive end. It ranks 153rd nationally in defensive efficiency and 13th in the Big Ten in conference play. The Boilermakers slow things down, and it's hard to imagine Iowa will be able to dictate the pace tonight on the road in one of the hardest places to win in the country. I won't be surprised if the Hawkeyes hang for a half, or maybe even 30 minutes, but the Boilermakers are likely to pull away and put this one to bed early.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model disagrees with me on the spread tonight because it's a big dumb doo doo head.
💰 More college basketball picks
The Pick: USC +4.5 (-110) -- The Pac-12 is a top-heavy league, as both UCLA and Arizona are capable of making Final Four runs. There's a sizable gap between them and the next best team in the league. For my money, that team is USC. The Trojans have their deficiencies -- they're surprisingly terrible at rebounding considering their size -- but they've been the most efficient offense in Pac-12 play and do a great job putting pressure on you and getting to the free-throw line.
That's something I suspect Oregon could struggle. While neither team is a juggernaut on the defensive end, USC does some things very well (like that interior defending). I don't know what Oregon does. It's a decent rebounding team, but that's about as far as it goes. Plus, the usual advantage the Ducks get from their size and length is mitigated by USC's size and length. I don't see either of these teams pulling away from the other, so getting 4.5 points with the Trojans is enticing.
The Pick: Over 125 (-110) -- Liberty is far and away the best team in the A-Sun, but it's coming off a loss to Lipscomb that dropped it to 10-2 in the conference. That leaves the Flames tied with Kennesaw State for first in the league, and while Liberty should win in the long run, there's little margin for error going forward. So I anticipate a more concentrated effort tonight against a bad Bellarmine team.
That said, the spread doesn't offer much value. Instead, I'm going after the total, which I believe is too low because of the pace these two play. Both move slowly, but Liberty shoots a lot of threes, and it shoots them well. Over 50% of Liberty's shots are from three (the second-highest rate in the country), and it's shooting 36.9% (36th) on them. Bellarmine's awful defending the perimeter. There's a very real shot the Flames catch fire and help us cruise past this total.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Projection Model sees incredible value on the spread in tonight's game between Georgia State and Old Dominion.