CBB Picks: Take the Over in Arizona-UCLA Pac-12 Showdown

It's time to let you all in behind the curtain on how my decisions on big games get made.

Tuesday night's Arizona-UCLA clash will be well worth staying up for.

The Pac-12 clash has everything you could ask for. It is a Top 10 battle between two elite teams, fans are back at Pauley Pavilion and Bill Walton is on the call.

Here is how I broke down the game in my head:

Can Arizona win? Absolutely. Very few teams have been able to stop that offense.

Will UCLA cash as the money line underdog? It's a possibility, especially with the crowd back in Westwood.

Any time I waffle on a big game, I just settle and take the over. I used this approach to success with Saturday's Kentucky-Auburn clash and I'm running with it again.

Arizona will score a ton of points if it wins and UCLA likely has to score in the 80s to beat the Wildcats, so that makes the total more than attainable.

Before the 11 p.m. ET tip off, you have two choices: Take a nap or bet on more college basketball games. I'm a sicko and opted for the latter because as a certain college basketball mind says, "We Sleep in May"

Tuesday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 119-150-1 (5-1 Monday)

Clemson at Duke (-11.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Betting on Duke at home against an average-at-best ACC opponent seems like a safe play.

The Blue Devils just rocked Syracuse at home by 20 points on Saturday and Clemson could face a similar fate inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Clemson lost its last two road games to Syracuse and Notre Dame by double figures. Clemson's only win in the last four games is over Pittsburgh, which is nothing to brag about.

A second straight blowout win should help Duke build as much confidence as possible heading into a run of four road games in its next five.

Northern Illinois at Ohio (Over 135.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Ohio is 4-0 to the over in its last four games and Northern Illinois is 4-1 to the over in the last five.

The Bobcats have scored well above their 73.9 points per game in the last two weeks. They scored 80 or more points in their last three wins.

Northern Illinois ranks 59th in offensive three-point percentage on KenPom and it scored over 75 points in its last three games.

This pick is based on Ohio's offense being its normal self and NIU continuing to improve on its crappy 62.5 points per game.

Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green (Over 153.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

There are a ton of high totals on the MAC board, but I'm going with the one that has best potential to hit.

Bowling Green is 9-0 to the over in its last nine games.

The Falcons rank 13th in adjusted tempo and 19th in average possession length on KenPom

Eastern Michigan averages 71.1 points per game and it gives up 73.5 points per contest. The Eagles rank 53rd in adjusted tempo, which should be a major help to the continuation of Bowling Green's over streak.

Maryland at Rutgers (-4) (8 p.m. ET, BTN)

Here's how you should approach betting Rutgers for the rest of the season.

If the Scarlet Knights play at home, bet on them.

If Rutgers is not playing inside the RAC, fade them.

It's a simple money-making strategy that I've followed for the last few weeks.

The lone exception to that trend was an 11-point road win over Maryland on January 15 .

Rutgers is 4-0 against the spread at home in Big Ten play. Maryland is 2-6 in conference play and it sits in the perfect let down spot after it upset Illinois without Kofi Cockburn on Friday at home.

Southern Illinois at Loyola Chicago (-12.5) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Here we have the rare Loyola Chicago bounce-back spot.

As you know from UNC on Monday, I have a slight addiction to betting bounce-back spots.

Loyola Chicago rarely loses nowadays in the Missouri Valley Conference and some of its frustration will be taken out on Southern Illinois, who has won one of its last five games. The Salukis will not put the Ramblers on upset alert.

I expect the Loyola defense that allows 63.2 points per game to have a big game after it gave up 79 points to Missouri State.

Mississippi State at Kentucky (-9) (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I promise I'm not betting Kentucky solely on the bounce-back game premise.

Mississippi State lost its two SEC road games by a combined 18 points. The Bulldogs are much better when they play in Starkville.

Kentucky earned double-digit home wins over Missouri, Georgia and Tennessee in SEC play. The Wildcats are a better side inside Rupp Arena, and yes, they have the motivation to rebound from the Auburn loss on Saturday.

Arizona at UCLA (Over 150) (11 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Arizona ranks in the Top 10 in all sorts of offensive categories on KenPom.

The Wildcats are second in adjusted tempo, fifth in two-point percentage and seventh in effective field-goal percentage.

Translation: Arizona's offense is really damn good.

Arizona posted at least 80 points in four of its last five games and now its offense has a chance to take it to UCLA in what could be a statement game for the Wildcats and their national title hopes.

The last time UCLA was in the national focus was during its overtime loss to Oregon two weeks ago. The Bruins have since won three games in a row and they will see Tuesday's game as a chance to reaffirm their national title credentials.

UCLA averages 78.8 points per game and shoots 45.4 percent from the field. Those would be good numbers compared to most opponents, but Arizona blows those stats out of the water.

UCLA is not winning this game in the 60s. The Bruins would need a perfect defensive game to achieve that total.

Arizona is going to put up at least 70 points, and probably more if it wins, which means UCLA needs to at least hit its average to win the contest.

Basically what all of those words mean is the over is hitting in every situation I play out in my mind, so I'm taking that because I'm unsure if Arizona will win and cover, or if UCLA can spring the money-line upset.

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