MLK Day and Hoops Action

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Kansas State at Missouri
5:30ET, ESPN
JustBet.com Line – Missouri -6, 150

Missouri will be in search of victory over Kansas State on Monday.

This Big 12 battle is part of ESPN’s special Martin Luther King’s Day tribute. Missouri (15-3, 6-7 ATS) will want to force Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen to give up the ball as often as possible and attack the other Wildcats ball-handlers, especially on the perimeter, where turnovers are more easily converted into fastbreak buckets. Another important element for the Tigers will be boxing out for rebounds at all five positions, intent on taking away one of the Wildcats strengths. Missouri has a number of players that can get hot in a particular contest and off their 91-89 OT loss at Texas A&M, the Tigers are 6-0 ATS after a defeat by six points or less the last three seasons.

Kansas State (13-5) will have to show uncommon poise in Columbia, because the number of skilled ball-handlers other than Jacob Pullen is scarce. Despite being an elite club, the Wildcats aggressive style of play continues to play right into one of their greatest weakness. Kansas State takes the ball to the bucket, battles on the boards, which send them to the free throw line, where they convert dreadful 58.7 percent, which partly why they are 4-8 ATS this campaign.

The visitor is 2-9 and 3-8 ATS in Big 12 battle.

3Daily Winners Line – Missouri -9

Syracuse at Pittsburgh
7:30 ET, ESPN
JustBet.com Line – Pittsburgh -5, 139

Use code WG2530 when signing up at JustBet.com.

This is Syracuse third Big East conflict in six days and what a venue to have to travel at the Petersen Events Center. The Orangemen (18-0, 7-9 ATS) might not have quite the offensive prowess of a year ago; nonetheless the diversity of separate parts makes them almost impossible to breakdown on tape and clue in on an individual or two. The patented Syracuse 2-3 zone is doing wonders for team shooting percentage, with the number of rim runs at over nine steals a game. The ‘Cuse is 15-3 ATS in road games after allowing 60 points or less two straight times.

Pittsburgh (17-1, 6-7 ATS) is in same schedule predicament, but at least played last contest at home. The Panthers are almost impossible to stop at “The Pete” with their 144-11 record since opening in 2002. Of course having tremendous players gives any team an edge and being able to suit up guards Ashton Gibbs and Gary McGhee, along with senior forward Gilbert Brown provides Jamie Dixon quite a comfort level. Pittsburgh is 15-5 ATS at home against Big East foes since 2008.

Pitt is 7-0 SU and ATS in previous regular season get-togethers.

3Daily Winners Line – Pittsburgh by 2

Kansas at Baylor
9:30ET, ESPN
JustBet.com Line – Kansas -4, 140

In spite of Kansas’ record (17-0, 7-8 ATS), coach Bill Self has concerns about his Jayhawks. He might actually have too many quality athletes and theirs and been low level grumbling about playing time and boredom seen against inferior opponents. This far into the season, every coach would like to have set rotation and if certain players step up, they earn more time on the floor. This is probably the deepest squad in the country and defensive lapses have caused big leads to shrink, which is problematic, especially on the road. Kansas is 8-1 ATS after playing at Allen Fieldhouse.

Baylor coach Scott Drew has a few headaches of his own. Senior guard LaceDarius Dunn is Bears (12-4, 3-6 ATS) top point producer, but can shoot his team into or out of a lead. The baseline bunch is solid defensively, yet won’t always mix it up with more physical opposition, as noted in each loss. To upset Kansas, Dunn has to score, take intelligent shots and forwards Perry Jones and Quincy Acy have to play better than the Jayhawks eminent big people. Baylor is 13-5 ATS having won four of their last five games.

The Jayhawks have won seven straight in regular season with 5-2 ATS record against Baylor.

3Daily Winners Line – Kansas by 9

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