Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Friday sports card features another afternoon and evening slate in college basketball and four college football games. The planned Purdue/Indiana game in college football got canceled because of COVID issues.

The first of three conference championship games in college football kicks off at 7 PM ET in Conference USA. Marshall hosts the game with their 7-1 record. The Thundering Herd lost their first game of the season in their last game on December 5th in a 20-0 upset loss at home to Rice as a 24.5-point favorite. Marshall might have been rusty playing for the first time in a month, given COVID cancellations. Redshirt freshman Grant Wells entered that game with 16 touchdown passes with only four interceptions, but he got picked off five times.

UAB snapped a two-game losing streak last Saturday in a 21-16 win at Rice as a 7-point favorite. The Blazers raised their record to a 5-3 mark with that victory. Head coach Bill Clark leads his team into their third straight appearance in the Conference USA championship game.

Marshall is a 4.5-point favorite with the total set at 43.5 (all odds from BetOnline). The CBS Sports Network has the broadcast.

The Mid-American Conference championship game is at 7:30 PM ET on a neutral field at Ford Field in Detroit. Ball State rallied from a 20-13 halftime deficit at home last week to upset Western Michigan by a 30-27 score as a 2.5-point underdog to earn their spot in this game. After losing at Miami (OH) in their opening game, the Cardinals have rattled off five straight victories. 

Buffalo remained unbeaten in their five games this season with their 56-7 victory over Akron as a 33-point favorite last Saturday. The Bulls lead the nation with a 51.8 points-per-game scoring average. 

Buffalo is a 13-point favorite with an over/under of 67.5. This game is on ESPN.

Nebraska plays at Rutgers at 7:30 PM ET. The Cornhuskers are 6.5-point road favorites with a total of 54.

The Pac-12 championship game takes place at 8 PM ET. Washington won the North Division but pulled out of the game early in the week due to their inability to field a team given COVID. Oregon takes their spot as the North Division representative with their 3-2 record. The Ducks have lost their last two games after being upset at California on December 5th as a 9-point favorite. 

USC rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit at UCLA last Saturday night by outscoring the Bruins by a 20-3 margin in the fourth quarter to pull out a 43-38 victory. The Trojans are 5-0 on the season with an outside chance of making it into the college football playoff with a win and then plenty of help on Saturday. 

USC hosts this game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as a 3-point favorite with a total of 63.5.

The college basketball card tips off 3 PM ET with Gardner Webb hosting VMI as a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 142.5.

Three games are on national television on Friday. At 5 PM ET, San Diego State hosts BYU in a Mountain West Conference clash on the CBS Sports Network. The Cougars raised their record to a 6-2 mark after an 82-64 win against Utah as a 1-point favorite. San Diego State remained unbeaten in their five games with their 80-68 upset win at Arizona State as a 2-point underdog. The Aztecs rank 18th in the nation in the Associated Press poll. San Diego State is a 7-point favorite with a total of 137.5.

Davidson plays at Rhode Island at 7 PM ET on ESPNU. The Wildcats are 3-3 after getting upset against Charlotte on Tuesday by a 63-52 score as a 10.5-point favorite. Rhode Island has dropped to 3-4 on the season with their second straight loss on Sunday in a 65-58 loss at Western Kentucky as a 5.5-point underdog. 

The nightcap on ESPNU is at 9 PM ET, with West Virginia hosting Iowa State. The Mountaineers raised their record to a 6-1 mark on Sunday with their 87-71 win at home against Richmond. Iowa State has lost three straight games for a disappointing 1-3 start to the season after getting upset on Tuesday at home to Kansas State by a 74-65 score as a 7.5-point favorite. West Virginia is a 15.5-point favorite with the over/under at 146.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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