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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives us his picks for a strong Wednesday slate of college hoops action

BET OF THE DAY: (2u) Seton Hall Pirates -5.5 @ -110

#21 Butler Bulldogs @ #16 Seton Hall Pirates, 6:30 PM:

  • Butler has lost each of the last five road games following a home loss.
  • Seton Hall has the second best ATS record in the Big East at (16-9). (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we’re backing Pirates

#16 Seton Hall (18-7) dropped a second straight game after falling on the road to the Providence Friars 74-71.

The Pirates had a slow start and trailed by as many as 20 but rallied in the second half, outscoring the Friars by 11.

Team-leading scorer Myles Powell totaled a team-high 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting with four assists and two steals.

Guards Quincy McKnight and Jared Rhoden contributed double-digit totals, scoring 14 and 10 points respectively.

#21 Butler (19-7) stumbled at home and lost for the third time in the last five games, falling to Georgetown 73-66.

The Bulldogs’ defense was non-existent, allowing the Hoyas to shoot over 50 percent from the field and 66 percent from three-point range.

Senior Kamara Baldwin did most of the heavy lifting, scoring 17 points with six rebounds and six assists.

The Bulldogs ranked as high as #5 in the nation this season but were handed their second loss of the season by the Pirates at home 78-70 to knock them out of the Top 10.

In that matchup, Seton Hall outscored Butler by 18 in the second half behind a 29-point outing from Powell.

My expectation is Powell will take over this game and help snap Seton Hall’s losing streak at home against Butler.

1u - Rutgers Scarlet Knights -1.5 @ -110

Michigan Wolverines @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 7:00 PM:

  • The Scarlet Knights are 17-0 at home this season.
  • Rutgers has the second best ATS record in the Big Ten (15-8-2).

The reason we’re backing Rutgers

Rutgers (18-8) got back on track and kept the wins coming at home with a 72-57 victory over #22 Illinois.

Sophomore Ron Harper Jr. was light outs from three-point range, knocking out all five of his attempts for a game-high 27 points with six rebounds and two steals.

Akwasi Yeboah and Geo Baker both added 12-point outings.

Michigan (16-9) picked up a third straight win after blowing out the Indiana Hoosiers 89-65.

The Wolverine offense was clicking on all cylinders, shooting over 50 percent from both the field and three-point range with five double-digit scorers.

Freshman Franz Wagner led the way with a team-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior Zavier Simpson contributed a double-double with 12 points and a team-high 11 assists.

The Scarlet Knights are arguably the best home team in the nation with a 17-game winning streak. As if that weren’t enough, they’re the second-best team ATS in the conference.

Although they suffered the loss to Michigan earlier this season, Rutgers has proven they’re a different team at home.

1u - Louisville Cardinals -9 @ -110

Syracuse Orange @ #11 Louisville Cardinals, 7:00 PM:

  • Louisville has won each of the last 11 home games.
  • Syracuse has the third worst ATS record in the ACC (11-14).

The reason we’re backing Louisville

After winning 10 consecutive games, #11 Louisville has now lost two games in a row after getting rolled on the road to Clemson 77-62.

The Cardinals (21-5) couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat as they shot under 35 percent from the field and 22 percent from three-point range.

Senior Dwayne Sutton and freshman David Johnson were the only players to score in double figures.

Sutton scored a team-high 18 points with seven rebounds and Johnson added 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds off the bench.

Syracuse (14-11) fell just short of pulling off the road upset over #8 Florida State, losing to the Seminoles 80-77.

Junior Elijah Hughes and freshman Joseph Girard III did all the heavy lifting for the Orange as the only players to score in double figures.

Hughes scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting and Girard added 22 points with five made three-pointers, seven rebounds and five assists.

Louisville will be returning home after a two-game road trip they’d like to forget.

The Cardinals sit in second place of the ACC standings (only a half game out of first place) and have a lot to gain with a win over the Orange on Wednesday.

My expectation is a motivated effort from Louisville to bounce back at home and they’ll cover the big spread over Syracuse.

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