It\'s worth putting money on James Wiseman being the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft

Create: 2020-11-18
Update: 2020-11-18
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Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Hello and Happy Wednesday. As Pete Blackburn was so kind to remind you this morning, the NBA Draft is tonight. Never in my life have I felt so unprepared for an NBA Draft. It's not just that it's happening on a Wednesday night in November this year -- it's that I have no idea who the No. 1 pick will be, nor do I know who it should be.
It's a byproduct of the college basketball season coming to an early end and the NBA being pushed so late. There just hasn't been the same kind of pre-draft build-up that allows me to form incontrovertible opinions on players I've hardly seen play. Seriously, one of the best parts of the NBA Draft for me has always been having OPINIONS on prospects. And not the kind of OPINIONS I have on football players at draft time, because when it comes to football, I (kind of) know what I'm talking about.
Basketball? I just know what I like even though I don't always know what it is I like, you know? But I'm right! And I want you to know that! This year, I don't know. Is LaMelo Ball really that good? The same kid from those highlight videos I saw chucking up half-court shots in transition? That's a franchise player now?
Don't get me wrong, I'm going to watch. The Chicago Bulls have the No. 4 pick and a new front office, so this is also the first time in a long time I'm not approaching a draft night in fear of Gar Forman doing something idiotic. So I suppose that's a relief.
We also have three MAC games tonight to bet on, and I have picks for all three of them below, but first, let's catch up on any of today's news.
  • One final NBA mock draft before tonight from our Gary Parrish.
  • Everything you need to know before tonight's draft.
  • Dennis Dodd has updated his college football hot seat rankings.
Onto tonight's action!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
The NBA Draft, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: James Wiseman to be the 1st pick (+700)
: Hey, if we're going to be watching it, we might as well have some action on it, right? Here's the thing, as I said above, I don't know what to expect tonight, but that's not just because I'm an idiot. It's because nobody knows what to expect. This isn't one of those years where we all know who the No. 1 pick will be. We don't even know who will make the pick because there's been plenty of talk about the Timberwolves looking to trade down.
So why not take a shot on Wiseman to be the pick?
I'm reminded of the 2013 NBA Draft when there wasn't a consensus top choice, and the Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the world by taking Anthony Bennett out of UNLV at No. 1. Wiseman going wouldn't be as much of a surprise, but some teams like him, and the price to trade up to No. 1 likely won't be as expensive as it would be in a typical year. So maybe somebody who wants him decides not to risk missing out on him and makes a move to get him. At +700, this scenario only has to play out 12.5% of the time to pay off. Can you see it happening that often? I can. I'm not saying put your mortgage on it, but a little something won't hurt.
💰 The Picks
🏈 College Football
Western Michigan at Central Michigan, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN2
The Pick: Central Michigan +1.5 (-110)
: This game could decide the MAC West Division champion, as both enter the game as the only 2-0 teams remaining in the division. Of course, as a devout MACtion follower, you already knew that. I'm on Central Michigan tonight, and I swear it's not because I'm still mad about the horrendous beat Western Michigan put on me last week when I told you to take Toledo on the money line. That said, I do like Central Michigan for a lot of the same reasons I liked Toledo last week.
Western Michigan's offense has been exceptionally potent and explosive in its first two games. But Western Michigan did it against one of the worst defenses in the nation against Akron, and Toledo doesn't have what anybody would consider a stout defense. Central Michigan, on the other hand, defends well. Through two games, the Chippewas defense has done a good job of limiting opponents and getting off the field on third down. A big reason for it is that Central can tackle. Western can't. It's been a significant problem for the Broncos through two games and will continue to be tonight. Plus, Central Michigan's offense has been explosive itself. Daniel Richardson has stepped in at QB and has become one of my favorite players to watch. I think the Chippewas win this game more often than not, but after what happened last week, I'll avoid the money line play and take the points they're giving me.
Key Trend: Central Michigan is 7-1 ATS in its last eight home games while Western is 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games.
Toledo at Eastern Michigan, 7 p.m | TV: CBS Sports Network
The Pick: Toledo -7 (-110) -- 
My belief in Toledo will not wane! No matter how many strange calls are made by officials or if its coaches decide to play the same prevent defense you play while up two scores in the final minutes when you're only up one score! OK, so maybe that latter part is problematic, but I still like the Rockets in this spot tonight.
Eastern Michigan's defense has done a nice job of limiting explosive plays, and that's kept scores down, but all the underlying metrics cause you to cringe. Plus, even while it's limiting explosive plays, it's still allowing 2.83 points per possession. That's a full 1.2 points worse than Toledo's defense through two games. Both of these teams can score points, but over the full 60 minutes, I trust Toledo to get the stops Eastern won't.
Key Trend: Toledo is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games as a road favorite.
Northern Illinois at Ball State, 7 p.m | TV: ESPN News
The Pick: Under 62 (-110) -- 
I don't know if Jerry Gergich will be on vacation in Muncie tonight and watching Ball State, but there will be strong winds blowing through town, and not the kind that gave Jerry a heart attack (this makes no sense to you if you didn't watch "Parks and Recreation.") That's right, we've got Wunder conditions for this matchup tonight, as the current forecast is calling for steady crosswinds between 14 and 18 mph in Scheumann Stadium. That, combined with a Northern Illinois offense that hasn't been prolific through its first two games, makes me comfortable taking the under here. I don't hate Ball State on the spread, but the line is a little too big for my taste.
Key Trend: The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Muncie
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model, which has generated over $3,900 profit for $100 college football bettors over the past four-plus years, has revealed its picks for all three MAC games on Wednesday.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Eli Peters, QB, Toledo -- Eastern Michigan's Preston Hutchinson and Western Michigan's Kaleb Eleby will be popular plays tonight, but they're facing the MAC's third and second-best defenses in success rate against the pass. On the other hand, Peters will be facing an Eastern Michigan defense that ranks ninth in the MAC in success rate against the pass. In other words, it's not out of line to think Peters will have the same kind of production as either Hutchinson and Eleby, but at a lower cost. He might even outscore them both.
Caleb Huntley, RB, Ball State -- Huntley is one of the most expensive players on the slate tonight, and he's likely to be highly-owned. I don't know if you want to be on him. For all the problems Northern Illinois has had scoring this season, defensively, it's been solid. Particularly against the run, where the Huskies are second in the MAC in success rate against. That's not to say they're going to shut Huntley down, but he might not be able to meet his price point, so save that money and use it elsewhere. 
Full lineup advice
SportsLine's team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the nation's most accurate Fantasy experts last year. Plus, use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
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