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With the 2017 college football regular season on the back burner we'll transition over to college hoops. In similar fashion to his college football column, over the course of the college basketball season Covers Expert Zack Ciminiwill assess some upcoming small-conference matchups of the week that could provide some betting value.
Team to Watch: Elon Phoenix
This week at UNC-Greenboro Spartans
Thursday, Elon will travel to UNC Greensboro aiming for their first road win of the season. Thus far they are 0-3 on the road while UNC-Greenboro is 4-0 at home.
Yet, Elon faced Duke in one of three road matchups along with Furman and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Against Wisconsin-Milwaukee they lost by a point 72-71, and held a halftime lead over Furman.
The spotlight loss for UNC-Greenboro is a head-scratcher against Presbyterian. They'll need to showcase focus from the onset against an Elon team that will be aiming to get the road monkey off their backs.
Team to Beware - Memphis Tigers
This week vs. Bryant Bulldogs
A program that has endured a rough transition has been the Memphis Tigers. The loss of Josh Pastner to Georgia Tech took a critical toll on the program last season.
Record-wise one cannot see the indication of a struggling program. At 5-2 straight up they've been able to mask the non box score glaring issues.
Yet, in their last three wins they've won by a combined five points. At halftime of both of their latest wins they were down by nine points against Samford and Mercer.
Facing a Bryant team that is 1-7 could finally cave the issues Memphis has been able to overcome. Another sloppy start and look for a team that's looking for confidence to pounce on the opportunity.
Total team: Northern Illinois Huskies
This Week vs. Central Connecticut Blue Devils
Teams from the MAC are use to nationwide exposure as part of ESPN3's consistent coverage of every game. Yet, a streamed game available versus a network televised game are vastly different.
Northern Illinois is coming off a 94-80 loss in a televised game against Iowa State. In the contest Northern Illinois guard Eugene German showed that he can play to the caliber of an elite rated guard. He scored 28 points in an array of ways and had the Huskies up two at halftime. His twenty points per game average may entice bettors Saturday against Central Connecticut State to glance at the total.
Yet Central Connecticut State is riding a five-game win streak and will already be coming off a Wednesday matchup in Chicago against DePaul. They'll be tested and ready to clamp down defensively.