Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:15 PM EST.
9:00 PM EST. The Conference USA Championship is less than two weeks away and with all 12 teams destined for postseason play the pressure is off the final few games of the season. The top-four seeds in the conference get a bye, but those spots have all but been locked up and Louisiana Tech is on the outside looking in with a 7-8 record. It's surely a disappointing result for a program that finished second in the conference in 2017. In the meantime, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs must finish the regular season with three games on the road, which can't be too enticing, as this team has a brutal 1-7 record away from the Thomas Assembly Center. The Bulldogs had a real shot at one of the coveted byes but traded wins and loses the last five games. In its previous contest, Tech was lifeless on senior night against Middle Tennessee State in a brutal 87-70 defeat as a small home dog. If these guys couldn't keep it close in their last home game of the season with something to play for, it sure is difficult to trust them to get up for this brutal stretch to end the year.
Unlike the Bulldogs, the Miners have been out of top-four contention for quite some time after just a 3-11 showing in the conference this season. With such a poor record, UTEP has very little market appeal. A recent run that includes just two wins over its last 10 games won't inspire much confidence either. Further lessening the Miners appeal is its recent trouble with Tech that includes just one win in the last six meeting between these two schools. The latest setback was a 97-88 loss in Ruston in early January, but those recent results only inflate this price tonight. That suits us just fine, as the Miners have been a tough out when these two teams meet. Despite the losses, they've covered four of the last five games between the two. Although all things are not equal, this game was priced in a similar range last season with the Miners being narrowly edged out 62-61, but covering as a 6½ point pooch. Spotting road points with bad teams is a situational play we are always mindful of and we believe this game is a prime target. UTEP is capable of winning this one outright and we’ll use them in some money line parlays. In our flat bet, we’ll grab the inflated points. You should consider it too.
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#616 UTEP +5½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)