The first week of the college basketball season was pretty subdued, aside from that Gonzaga-Michigan State game on the aircraft carrier. Devoted college hoops fans appreciated any games, but most people probably didn't realize the sport had started.
Now we're getting some good games. The Champions Classic had two fantastic games (Michigan State outlasted Kentucky in double overtime and Kansas rallied past Duke as two underdogs won straight up), and Tuesday night has an intriguing matchup between two top-11 teams.
No. 2 Gonzaga plays at No. 11 Texas in a game that will give us a good idea where both teams are this season. Texas is a 1.5-point favorite at BetMGM.
Gonzaga started the season by falling way behind Michigan State, then needing a late flurry to win. They held on to a 64-63 win when Michigan State couldn't score on its final possession. As we saw with the Spartans' win on Tuesday night, that's a pretty good win for Gonzaga.
Texas' two games were against UTEP and Texas Christian, but at least they won decisively. Texas won by 15 against UTEP and beat Houston Christian by 51. Texas is deep and should be in or around the top 15 (or better) most of the season.
I'll go with Texas in this one, because it could be really good defensively and home-court advantage is still a big deal. Either way, credit to Gonzaga for challenging itself with a true road game against a fantastic opponent. That's good for the sport.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
A good NBA doubleheader
There are some good pro games on as well. The Boston Celtics play at the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of ESPN's doubleheader, and the Golden State Warriors face the Phoenix Suns in the late game.
The Celtics are off to a great 11-3 start, but the Hawks are 9-5. They just beat the Milwaukee Bucks on the road. Atlanta is a good young team and it's looking to prove it belongs among the top teams in the East. I like Atlanta as a 2.5-point home underdog.
The Warriors are off to a disappointing 6-8 start, but they have won three of four. However, all three of those wins came at home. Golden State is a shocking 0-7 on the road. Phoenix is just a 1.5-point home favorite and I think the Suns cover.
The other marquee game of the night is the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Bucks. The Bucks are 3.5-point favorites against a Cavs team that has lost four in a row after a great start to the season.
Three NHL games
There's a TNT doubleheader on a good night for sports on TV. The late game is the Los Angeles Kings at the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is a -150 favorite but the Kings have been very good lately, winning four in a row before that streak was stopped Monday at the Calgary Flames.
What's the best bet?
While Texas, the Hawks and Suns are all candidates here, I'll take the Bucks as my top bet of the day. Milwaukee has been great when healthy most of the season and I don't think they'll lose two in a row at home.