The Battle 4 Atlantis tips off in the Bahamas and features four ranked squads in the top-25. Games begin on the 27th and conclude on the 29th. So if you need some action on Thanksgiving or Wednesday night at the bar, I got you covered!
Iowa St. vs. Michigan (-2, 140) Nov. 27, 12 p.m. EST
The team that is more proficient from three should win the opening game. Michigan holds the advantage as they have shooters on deck in Livers and Brooks, who are a combined 20-39 from downtown. As a team, they are shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc. The Cyclones have been susceptible to the deep ball as they are allowing opposing teams to shoot 33 percent.
The bigger mismatch is on the other side of the ball. Iowa St. is shooting an abysmal 27 percent from three, 307th overall. In comparison, Iowa St. has attempted three more 3 point attempts and are shooting 12 percent worse. Maybe this is the Cyclones break out game, but I would be wary of that against the Michigan defense. They have held their opponents to 69 total 3 point attempts, 8th overall. Expect lock down defense from beyond the arc.
This game could get ugly if it comes down to free throws as neither team has been able to make them with consistency. Michigan is shooting 70 percent and Iowa St. is slightly worse at 69 percent. With Michigan coming in stronger on both sides of the ball and at free throws, I am backing them at a short number.
The Pick: Michigan -2 (-105).
Seton Hall vs. Oregon (-2, 139) Nov. 27, 9:30 p.m. EST
The last game of the day will feature a clash of styles. Oregon is a slow tempo team and love to work the shot clock. The Pirates, however, push the ball in transition for easy buckets. Even in their halfcourt set, Seton Hall shoots before 15 seconds have elapsed. The team that dictates the tempo will most likely come out the winner. Oregon has contained a fast paced team in Memphis, with James Wiseman, already this season.
Oregon struggles to produce turnovers as they rank 293rd in turnover rate early in the season. Giving the Pirates too many chances for points may cost the Ducks. Seton Hall is scoring 84 points per game and they protect the ball well, 41st in TO rate.
Seton Hall will need to play with pace to beat the Ducks. Oregon is the second best team in the nation at defending the three. If they cannot make this an up and down game, Seton Hall may need to drive more often in half court sets to draw defenders out of position. 40 percent of Seton Hall’s shot attempts have been threes, so relying heavily on them may send the Pirates to the consolation bracket. They will hang tough against Oregon with a shot to win outright given their performance at Michigan State.
|Seton Hall Tempo||Oregon Tempo|
|55th Overall||307th Overall|
The Pick: Seton Hall +2 (-110).
Alabama vs. UNC (-9, 154.5) Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m. EST
Get ready for a track meet in the afternoon. These teams are each in the top-13 for tempo. Alabama, even under new coach Nate Oats, has not changed their identity of pushing the ball at any chance. On the other hand, UNC wants the ball in Cole Anthony’s hands and he is lethal in the fast break.
No Play, lean the over.
Southern Miss vs. Gonzaga (-23, 138) Nov. 27, 7:00 p.m. EST
This is the biggest mismatch of day one and rightfully so for Gonzaga. They rank 4th overall in offensive efficiency and 15th in defense. Southern Miss will have their hands full and will not be able to contain Gonzaga whatsoever. They rank 187th overall in defensive efficiency and 251st on offense. Southern Miss may struggle to break 60 points and Gonzaga has the ability to score over 80, but this is a pass for me as the lines seem spot on.
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