College Basketball season has arrived and Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his two favorite bets for opening night, plays on the LSU Tigers and Duke Blue Devils.
Mississippi Valley State at LSU (-28.5): O/U 136.5The College Basketball season is here and we are kicking off the year with a fade on the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils! (what a name)
Mississippi Valley State surrendered 117 points to Baylor last season in the opener and allowed Yale (80), Mississippi State (82), Missouri (83), and Colorado State (88) all hit 80-plus points in five of the first 10 games.
In 11 of the Delta Devils’ 33 games last season, the opponent scored 80-plus points. LSU only scored 80-plus points in three games last season, but this team is looking to run and build off a poor 2022-23 and use its experience in 2023-24.
The Tigers put up 132 points in the latest exhibition game with seven different players scoring double-figures. LSU had one of the best offseasons in the transfer portal and all things are pointing up this year after a 2-16 SEC finish last year.
The Tigers may or may not end up in the middle of the pack for the SEC, but that doesn’t matter when facing a bottom-10 program at home in your season opener.
LSU just wants to put last season behind them and start fresh here. I like the chances LSU scores 85-plus points in the season-opener so go Over 81.5 (-120) up to 82.5 for 1 unit.
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Kenpom and Barttorvik have LSU scoring 82 and 84 points, both going over the team total of 81.5.Pick:
LSU Team Total Over 81.5 (1u)*odds courtesy of BetMGMDartmouth at Duke (-27.5): O/U 142.5Dartmouth heads to Duke and that is a big task for a team that was selected to finish seventh out of eight teams in the Ivy League this season.
Per Duke’s athletic department, the Blue Devils’ return 60.4 points per game from last season, the most returning points by a Duke team since the 2008-09 season, and four players with 30+ starts for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
The offense should have chemistry and be clicking from the gate here. Duke put up 109 points in its exhibition game. Last season, Duke opened the season with 71 points before 84 in the second game, hitting the Under on the Team Total.
However, this year the Blue Devils should get off to a quicker start. Last year was Jon Scheyer’s first season and debut, plus there were more freshmen playing. This Duke team is entering season two with Scheyer and has more chemistry, plus plenty of returning production/minutes.
The last time Dartmouth opened the season versus a ranked opponent came in 2016-17 versus No. 23 Rhode Island. Dartmouth lost, 84-61. Duke is the highest-ranked team that Dartmouth has ever faced to open the season. That spells trouble.
Duke only scored 85 or more points five times last year, but I like this spot for them at home versus Dartmouth with plenty of experience. I played Duke’s Team Total Over 85.5 at -110 odds and would go to 86.5.
Pick: Duke Team Total Over 85.5 (1u)*odds courtesy of BetMGMJoin in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the
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