Basketball Plays of the Day for December 25: Free Diamond Head Classic Picks

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Scotty Pippen Jr. #2 of the Vanderbilt Commodores drives the baseline and shoots a reverse layup against BYU. Darryl Oumi/Getty Images/AFP

Editor’s Note: The game between Stanford and Vanderbilt was canceled Saturday night because of COVID-19 issues in the Cardinal camp will be declared a no-contest, per tournament officials.

It’s Christmas Day and for today we have a couple of presents for the Diamond Head Classic taking place in Hawaii. Will Vanderbilt find enough open looks to beat Stanford? Can NYU capitalize on a weaker Liberty side?

Let’s break down the NCAAB odds for these games!

Stanford Cardinal vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

Saturday, December 25, 2021 – 08:30 PM EST at Stan Sheriff Center

Betting Analysis

In the Championship of the Diamond Head Classic, the Stanford Cardinal and Vanderbilt Commodores will duel it out on Honolulu, HI for the trophy.

Vanderbilt might have the edge in tonight’s game. Stanford is turning the ball over 22.4 percent of the time while Vanderbilt is earning 24.6 percent turnovers per game on the defensive end. That’s going to be a huge difference-maker if Vanderbilt is able to earn a turnover every four or five possessions in this game.

Stanford is shooting at a high percentage and has a 51.5 percent effective field goal percentage while shooting 34.8 percent from long range and 51 percent from inside. However, the fewer attempts in this game due to turnovers won’t help the Commodores case at all in this game. Offensive rebounding won’t be an issue for Stanford, however.

The Cardinal are earning 36.1 percent offensive rebounds and are a top 20 team in the nation. However, they’re also way above average in getting to the foul line this season but are shooting 64.8 percent from the charity stripe.

On the other hand, Vanderbilt is shooting an effective field goal percentage of just 47.2 percent. The Commodores are hitting just 29.5 percent from long range and 49.5 percent from inside. The scouting report would like Vanderbilt to look to score inside more often but they’ve been shooting a ton of threes.

Expert Prediction

Against Stanford, there’s a good chance they’ll get open looks no matter where they’re shooting on the floor. Those open looks, in Hawaii, are falling for basically every team on that court.

So while Vanderbilt won’t win the rebound battle, they will win the turnover battle and should be able to score at a high rate against a Stanford defense that only rebounds and does nothing else more in this matchup.

NCAAB Pick: Vanderbilt -2 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Vanderbilt -2 (-110)
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Liberty Flames vs. BYU Cougars

Saturday, December 25, 2021 - 06:30 PM EST at Stan Sheriff Center

This game is more of a consolation prize. Neither team is going to be playing in the finals of the Diamond Head Classic, but both teams will get to play an exciting game that could help build the resume for NCAA Tournament time. Liberty’s offense runs when Darius McGhee goes off.

However, Liberty is shooting 36 percent from long range while opponents are shooting 25.5 percent from long range this season against BYU. That’s a concern for Liberty coming into the game because, on the other hand, Liberty is allowing teams to shoot 38 percent from long range on the season.

Of course, BYU is shooting 35.1 percent from deep and continues to dominate the glass, unlike Liberty. Liberty is earning just 23.4 percent offensive rebounds while BYU is holding teams to 24.4 percent offensive rebounds.

Expert Prediction

Therefore, if Liberty is missing a lot of long-range jumpers, they’ll have no shot at covering this game. That's why I like BYU for my second NCAAB pick tonight.

NCAAB Pick: BYU -8.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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BYU -8.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.