There's something almost magical about the words "Pitchers and Catchers report." I purchased my first baseball magazine today and opening it's pages almost opened me up to sunshine, sand and beautiful weather. Spring training is almost upon us and with that the hopes and dreams of all the major league fanbases that they could be the team to shock the world and make the playoffs. Granted for some that's a little more realistic then others, but on this day everyone's got a shot.
I'm a Marlins fan. I know that it doesn't fit with me being from Philadelphia, but I just never got into the Phillies. Most would say that's a poor move on my part, but I like being a fan of the Fish. I'll wait while you insert an attendance/fanbase joke. I've heard them all. Anyways, Florida's chances are as good as the Yankees or the Phillies right now because everyone's 0-0.
I'm done waxing poetic...here are the picks
Michigan/Indiana Over 130 -- The Wolverines enter Saturday's game with Indiana winners of four of their last five. Michigan has done it with offense at home putting up 87 on Iowa and 75 on Northwestern. This is a team that doesn't mind running a bit at home. They have also scored 76 on Penn State and 75 on Utah. Overall, they are scoring 66.8 points per game, but takes into account their poor play away from home. Darius Morris (15.4 ppg) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (12.2 ppg) lead the way offensively. Michigan has gone over in seven of their 11 lined home games this season. That stat goes nicely with the six overs in eight road games for the Hoosiers. Indiana has given up nearly 79 points per game away from the confines of their arena. They are led by Verdell Jones III (12.2 ppg) and Jordan Hulls (11.3 ppg). Outside of a 53 point performance last time out in Purdue, the Hoosiers have scored at least 60 in every game away from home. Indiana won the first meeting between the two on January 15th 80-61. This game should be around that total this time as well.
Brigham Young -20 -- Jimmer Fredette and BYU look to improve on their 104-79 win over Utah in the first meeting between the two teams. Fredette put up 47 points as the Cougars shot 47% from the field in this blow out win. As a matter of fact, the BYU starting five put up 102 of the 104 points in the game. The Utes are coming off a 32 point loss at San Diego State where they scored only 53 points. Utah has failed to score more then 55 points in their last three games. The road has been unkind at times to the Utes who lost by 13 at Hawaii, 13 at UNLV and 17 at Utah State. The team is allowing over 70 points per contest which doesn't bode well against BYU who is putting them up in bunches. The Cougars average almost 84 points per contest and have failed to score 70 or more once when they put up 69 in Wyoming. BYU has beaten almost every one of their opponents at home by double digits. This one shouldn't be pretty at all.
Washington -15.5 -- Washington got real healthy against California on Thursday night. Now they'll welcome Stanford to town. The Huskies continue to roll offensively putting up almost 86 points per game. Washington put up 109 against the Golden Bears last time out. We've given you the stats on the home domination for U-Dub. They don't mess around at all. This team will also have revenge on their mind as they somehow lost 58-56 to the Cardinal on the road on January 13th. Sure, Stanford got a win over Washington State last time out, but that performance hasn't been the road norm. The team has lost five games by double digits away from home. This one has blowout written all over it and if the Cardinal aren't careful, Washington may put up 100 or more on them too.