Reno Bighorns at Utah Flash
Utah has managed pretty well without Luke Nevill thanks to contributions in the middle from Carlos Wheeler and Bennet Davis, but neither one of those guys are real centers, so Rod Benson should do well. Heck, Cezary Trybanski could get another passel of blocks. Dontell Jefferson and Orien Greene have been playing very well of late, and they could make it so that Benson's contributions don't matter quite so much. Jefferson in particular could force Russell Robinson into a(nother) poor shooting night, and the line on Desmon Farmer turnovers is probably six. The over isn't a crazy bet. I may be alone in thinking Reno is better than their record, but they'll need to work (and get more contributions from their bench) to win this one.
Idaho Stampede at Los Angeles D-Fenders
Dar Tucker will probably love playing at Idaho's tempo, which means that LA fans will probably hate it. Tucker, as you'll recall, was drafted by the Stampede but traded away in a three-team deal that brought them Anthony Tolliver in return. Even five or six games into the season, I think it's pretty safe to say that Idaho got the better end of that one. The D-Fenders don't really have anyone who can defend (I initially wrote d-fend but then hated myself) Tolliver, particularly out on the perimeter. I guess LA's shooters could do well enough to keep them in this game, but don't expect it to happen; instead, let it be a pleasant surprise.
Dakota Wizards and Iowa Energy
The Earl Barron-Curtis Withers matchup should be a good one. The Energy just got an infusion of talent in the form of a returning Cartier Martin and an assigned Taylor Griffin, so Dakota's defense will be tested. That's particularly true out in three-point range where Dakota's opponents have shot .410 so far, and Iowa has the shooters to keep that percentage high. Getting Mo Baker back should help on the offensive end, and Romel Beck will need to get his shot going early without completely disrupting what Dakota wants to do. Connor Atchley is going to have to start contributing off the bench for the Wizards. Rebounding, shooting, something.
Bakersfield Jam at Austin Toros
This game should have another fun matchup, that of Amara Sy and Alonzo Gee. Sy didn't get much of a chance to show off his defense in the first game due to some foul trouble, but he could make Gee work for his points tonight. Presumably the entire Bakersfield roster won't foul out of this one, but even without getting sent to the bench with foul trouble, the Jam will have a tough time. They don't really have anyone who can keep Dwayne Jones off the boards or who can guard Curtis Jerrells. The Toros haven't always played well, but they should be alright against the Jam. They still need to work on their three-point defense, though, and John Williams looks like a pretty good shooter who can make them pay