Eastern Kentucky +17.5 at Minnesota
Recommendation: Eastern Kentucky
Minnesota has played their last three games with point guard Al Nolen and the results were less than impressive. The Golden Gophers lost to Virginia, beat Cornell by five and St. Joe's by ten. Nolen isn't much of a scorer, but his ability to control the game on both ends of the floor puts Minnesota at a disadvantage when he doesn’t play. It should also be noted that in those three games, opposing teams shot 33-of-75 44% from three-point range – again, Nolan is one of UM's better perimeter defenders. Eastern Kentucky has never been shy about shooting three-pointers. In fact, 31% of the Colonels' offense comes from beyond the arc. EKU does two things well that provide value for an underdog: knock down outside shots (36.9% 3-point) and free throws (70.5%). This line is a bit inflated because EKU has played a soft schedule. Last season however, EKU had competitive showings against Pitt (lost by 11) and Maryland (lost by 9). Eastern plays at a slow pace and will try to shorten the game as much as possible. If they have an average offensive showing, they should be able to slip under this number.